Location: US, Black America

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (a slave named Celia)

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I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings (a Slave Named Celia) is D. Marque Hall's adaptation of the cover for Maya Angelou's "I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings" from Hall's new "Booked" Series

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April is Rape and Sexual Abuse Awareness month as well as National Poetry month in the United States. Celia was a young woman of African descent purchased by a 60 year old white man named Robert Newsome to be a concubine. She was raped by Newsome repeatedly. One night when he was forcing himself on her she hit him in the head with a stick and he died. She was put on trial and hung rather than being found innocent because she was defending herself. That's what would happen if a white woman killed a man who was in the act of raping her at this time... They wouldn't serve anytime and they most certainly wouldn't' have been killed but Celia wasn't considered a woman--- she was property. Maya Angelou herself was raped as a child. She was 8 years old and she was raped by her mother's boyfriend. She wrote about it in "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings". For this piece in my "Booked" Series I made young Maya looking up to a hanging Celia who was kept caged in a cabin behind Robert Newsome's home four 5 years, being victimized and dehumanized until she finally was able to hit him with something hard enough to...

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