Maggie Proulx I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is an autobiography by Maya Angelou, depicting her life as a young black girl growing up in a small town in Arkansas. The book is taught in English classes across the country, usually in middle or high schools. Although the majority of the readers enjoy it and consider it to be good reading material, there are those few who do not believe that the good qualities of the book outweigh the bad. Maya Angelou is a wonderful author and poet, and her book I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is filled with her characteristically beautiful descriptions and explicit phraseology. There is no sufficient reason for her book not to be taught in American school systems, but there are many good reasons that support it being taught in schools. In her book, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou takes the reader through her life as though the reader is seeing it through her eyes. One of the most amazing things about Maya Angelou's life that is found in the book is her ability to succeed, even though she lived such an onerous life. She was not disabled by her experiences, so she was able to accomplish everything in life that she set her mind to. She can be considered a role model for that. Maya Angelou is proof to all women, blacks, and other minorities that people can accomplish anything and everything that they want, if they work at it hard enough. An example of this is when Maya was refused the job taking money on the busses because she is black. She continued to work to get that job, and eventually she did. She is not only a role model to minorities, but to everyone else, too. The book I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is also an excellently written book, besides having good content. Maya Angelou has masterfully written her autobiography so that even those who do not enjoy what it is about are able to enjoy her palpable language and unique writing style. Some people disagree with this, and have the perspective that the book I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings should not be taught in schools. They believe that Maya Angelou's rape takes away from the benign qualities that the book possesses. It is true that Maya Angelou goes through many bad experiences, but the inequities that she suffers from only add to the book's power and meaning. The sexual content in it is not enough to take away a significant amount of its good characteristics. Another opinion of the book is that Maya Angelou's rancor toward the white race is not a healthy point of view to be taught in American classrooms. This, also, is not an entirely true statement. It was not that Maya Angelou simply hated the whites, but the animosities that she felt from them could not be ignored. Her servile treatment by the whites did nothing to make her like them any more, and she had no reason to like them at all. There are more than a few supporting examples of this in the book, which can condone her hatred of the whites. One is when she is refused to be admitted into a white dentist's office, and another is when the "powhitetrash" were making fun of her "Mama," which was like insulting Maya herself. Maya Angelou's book is written about her life as a black girl, growing up in the very segregated town of Stamps, Arkansas. She had to deal with the problems that came with being black, female, and in the south individually, as well as collectively. Her book is written about an American with many problems, just like lots of books written today, so there is no difference between her book and others, except for the experiences that she writes about. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is a book written about an American struggle, and should be read by the Americans who did not partake in that struggle.