Maya Angelou — Gather Together In my Name

The first time I heard Maya Angelou’s name was at a Book Discussion; before then, I didn’t know who the woman was. 
The book that was discussed that day was All God’s Children Should Wear Traveling Shoes, and since then, I’ve added this book to my to-read list and one thing or the other keeps getting in my way to read it.

I got my hands on some books Oluwadamilare ordered and the book Gather Together In my Name was part of it. And this book has made me decide to read all the books in Maya’s Autobiography series.

The book in her series includes

1. I know Why The Caged Bird sings

2. Gather Together In My Name

3. Singin’ and Swingin’ and Getting’ Merry Like Christmas

4. The Heart of a Woman

5. All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes

6. A Song flung Up To Heaven

7. Mom & Me & Mom

This book was an easy and engaging read; the writing style was fabulous. I started the book around 8am and was done by 1pm, and I started asking myself, wait, when did I get to the end of the book, I’m not supposed to be done yet, and well, I have to get the remaining book in the series and read them all. The story really touched me and actually allowed me to be grateful for the kind of life I have….. I can say I am innocent to the happenings of the world. 
I rated it Five Stars (*****)

Gather Together In My Name is the second volume of her Autobiography, and it’s between 1944 and 1948. It begins when Maya is in her late teens; she was comfortable with the name Ruth from her full name Marguerite. Her beautifully-written prose describes the mistakes she makes in her life decisions, as a result of her risk-taking and daring personality.

While reading, I called her a jack of all trade, her jobs varied from a Bus Girl to a Creole Cook to a Waitress to a Madam (pimp) to a Dancer to a Trick (prostitute), back to a Cook, to a Chauffeurette, and then, a cloth depot seller. Some of these were really hard to believe, like how can a teenager be a Madam?

With all these job descriptions, Maya was an amazing mother, a loving sister, a great daughter and one of the best granddaughters.

In this book, Maya fell in love too easily, resulting in bad news all the time. I guess I can say that in the matters of love, she was just a naïve teenager.

What shocked me most was in the prologue, she was not comfortable leaving her child with her mother because her mother had left her with others till she turned thirteen (13) but she was comfortable leaving her child with complete strangers, I guess I was not surprised he was kidnapped.

It was really hurtful when she was not allowed to serve her country, I guess I can say it was their loss.

Maya understands the struggle of life and would do anything to make her son comfortable, I am really proud of her. She didn’t allow her failures wear her down, but she always got back up and did better.

In all, this book was an incredible book, beautifully written and really can’t wait to read more of her works.

A Remarkable Book.

Quotes from the book
 “The naturally lonely person does not look for comfort in love, but accepts the variables as due course.”
 “Be the best of anything you get into. If you want to be a whore, it’s your life. Be a damn good one. Don’t chippy at anything. Anything worth having is worth working for.’ 
It was her version of Polonius’ speech to Laertes. With that wisdom in my pouch, I was to go out and buy my future.”
 “I found it hard to think of leaving my books. They had been my elevators out of the midden, and to whom could I entrust such close friends?”
 “Self-pity in its early stage is as snug as a feather mattress. Only when it hardens does it become uncomfortable. ”