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Which books should you read while self-isolating from coronavirus? Show more Show less
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Books can be life-changing. They can be a form of escapism that give a unique perspective into lives, times, places and ideas we will never experience ourselves. Or, a way of learning new ways of thinking, being and approaching the world. With all this time now spare, what are the key texts we should be reading?

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How did the people you admire deal with times of crisis?
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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Maya Angelou's memoir is a poignant account of life as a poor, black teenager in racist America.

The Argument

You should read I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings because it relates to current events. In a time of widespread social revolution in the black community, it is more important than ever for people to educate themselves about justice. Since the protests sparked by the death of George Floyd, there has been a rise in book sales that concern the subject of anti-racism. [1] I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings describes the cruelties of racism and prejudice. It also shows Angelou's unyielding strength. It describes the perseverance and grit that she embodied as a young black woman in America during the 1930's and 1940's. Angelou’s narrative educates readers on the negative impacts of prejudice against the black community. Her vulnerability serves as a triumph over injustice because she refused to be silent. Through reading her memoir, people can educate themselves about the prejudice of the past and understand why it is critical to stand up against injustice now. Maya Angelou worked as a civil rights activist. She collaborated with other notable civil rights leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. [2] Her experience as a civil rights activist makes her a notable source of information about the fight for justice. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings captures the early life of Angelou and her influences, who gave her the courage to stand up against injustice in America. Her memoir serves as inspirational writing, encouraging others not be silent in the face of injustice.

Counter arguments

Readers should educate themselves on the black community with more recent publications about racism in America. This will help them better understand the prejudice that the black community still faces. By learning about present threats, people will be better equipped to fight injustice. Although Maya Angelou was a civil rights activist, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings does not divulge much about her involvement as a civil rights activist. If readers want to educate themselves and see Angelou's activism, they should read her other autobiographies.

Proponents

Premises

[P1] People should read books that relate to current events while self-isolating. [P2] Due to recent events relating to racism in America, people must begin reading books about prejudice. [P3] I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings discusses the issues of racial prejudice and racism that Maya Angelou endured. [P4] Therefore, people should read I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings while self-isolating during the coronavirus.

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.theguardian.com/books/2020/jun/03/anti-racist-book-sales-surge-us-uk-george-floyd-killing-robin-diangelo-white-fragility
  2. https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/maya-angelou

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This page was last edited on Friday, 12 Jun 2020 at 20:02 UTC

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