Among the themes of Maya Angelou's poem "Still I Rise" are oppression and resilience in the face of said oppression. The poem is the speaker's reaction to both racial and sexual discrimination. It is her written response to those who persecute her. She is oppressed because she is Black and because she is a woman. The empowering poem illustrates the speaker's indomitable spirit and determination to persevere in spite of the injustices she suffers.
Angelou communicates the theme of racial oppression by referencing the suffering of Black people. She comes from a culture and past that is "rooted in pain." She is proud of her heritage and determined to succeed and live happily in spite of those who oppress her and her people:
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
She honors her...
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