“Amanda L said: 5 stars
This is the first of Angelou's autobiographical books, and it covers her life from childhood up to the birth of her son. When she is three years old, her parents send her and her brother to live with their grandmother in rural Arkansas. The children spend most of their childhoods in their grandmother's very strict household, although they do spend a year with their mother in St. Louis, where Angelou was raped by her mother's boyfriend. As teenagers they are sent to California to live with their mother, and they learn about her streetwise lifestyle.
While this book is hard to read at times due to it's frank discussions of racism and sexual abuse, among other things, it is absolutely a work of art. Angelou doesn't just describe events that occurred in her life, she also reflects on how they influenced her and what they said about society as a whole. I also really appreciated how the book focused on a specific period of American history without being obvious about it. If you haven't read this, you should.”