All God's Children Need Traveling Shoes Essay - Masterplots II: Women’s Literature Series All God's Children Need Traveling Shoes Analysis

Maya Angelou

Masterpieces of Women's Literature All God's Children Need Traveling Shoes Analysis

As a country, Ghana is a particularly significant setting. Considered the most progressive black country in Africa during the early 1960’s, it had achieved independence from colonial British rule in 1957. Set against the background of the 1960’s Civil Rights movement in the United States and the often-ugly response there to African Americans’ search for freedom, Angelou’s autobiography describes Ghana as a haven for African American expatriates. In Ghana, black skin was accepted and loved, blacks were in power, and the leader of the country, Kwame Nkrumah, had made a special point of welcoming Africans of the diaspora—that is, those who had been scattered by slavery to America and the Caribbean. As Angelou writes, “For the first time in our lives, or of the lives of our remembered families, we were welcomed by a president.” Also, Nkrumah’s theory of the African personality—a personality shared by both Africans and Africans of the diaspora—was particularly appealing to Angelou and the other African American expatriates, for it implied that they shared something with native Africans that the years of intervening slavery could not take away. Moreover, such a theory urged forms of thinking and expression that were alternatives to European-based ones, something that satisfied the expatriates’ desire to revolt against white American authority, which they believed to be traditionally hostile to African Americans.

To underline her efforts to...

(The entire section is 493 words.)