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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings: A Banned Book

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by

Tulani Reeves-Miller

on 3 November 2013

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Transcript of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings: A Banned Book

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
About the Book
By Maya Angelou
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
is an autobiography of Maya Angelou's life from age three to age seventeen. Written in 1969, the book is about her growth throughout her first seventeen years. The book includes a scene in which eight year old Maya is raped.
According to the ALA
In 2007, the book was ranked number eight on the listed of frequently challenged books out of 420 challenges reported to the Office for Intellectual Freedom. It is also ranked sixth on a list of "Top 100 Most Banned or Challenged Books: 2000-2009".

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings:
A Banned Book

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
The book can be found in the River Ridge High School library, and is used for teaching purposes in 12th grade curriculum.
Challenged and Retained
In some cases, the book was challenged but still kept in the curriculum.
Des Moines, Iowa
In the year 1994, at Dowling High School in Des Moines, Iowa, a parent challenged
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
because it contained “inappropriately explicit sexual scenes.” The book remained in the curriculum for sophomores.
Banned
The book
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
has been banned many times within the last three decades, and is usually banned because it is "sexually explicit". In some cases the book is banned because it
encourages homosexuality
, has
racism
, had
violent imagery
and contains
vulgar language
. There is no official court case for the banning of the book.
Wisconsin
In 2006 through 2007, parents challenged the book because Maya gets raped by her mother's boyfriend, and her unwanted pregnancy later. The book was kept in the advanced English class at Fond du Lac High School for sophomores, but parents can decide whether they want their child to read the book or not.

Challenged and Banned
The book has been challenged and banned many times in the past 20 years.

In the year 2003, for example,
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
was challenged as required reading at Hamilton High School in Montana because of rape and homosexuality.
Parents Against Bad Books in Schools challenged the book in Fairfax, Virginia school libraries for "profanity and descriptions of drug abuse, sexually explicit conduct and torture".
Works Cited
Tulani Reeves-Miller
“I’m always sorry that people ban my books. Many times I’ve been called the most banned. And many times my books are banned by people who never read two sentences. I feel sorry for the young person who never gets to read.” - Maya Angelou
I included this quotation in my presentation because I think young people should be able to read what they want to, regardless of what others think of that piece of literature. Reading should up to the individual. Others should not be able to decide what someone can or cannot experience.
My Opinion on Censorship
Full transcript