"I've got oil wells," "I've got gold mines," "I've got diamonds." What is the effect of repetition here and the particular images used?

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The use of repetition as a literary device at the beginning of a sentence is called anaphora, and it is usually used to stress a point or to give emphasis to an idea or thought.  In this case, Maya Angelou uses repetition to emphasize metaphors.  The comparison of herself to oil wells, gold, and diamonds shows her value as a person.  Throughout her poem, Angelou is writing about her worth, and her ability to survive despite being “trod” upon because she is a black female.  She has gained knowledge and understanding through her black ancestor’s history and experiences the ability to rise up from the oppression and racism that has forced so many others down.  She is self-actualized as a person—she has “sassiness”, “hopes that (are) springing high”, and “haughtiness”.  She cannot be kept down by her history or the “hatefulness” of others.  She says in the poem, that she has risen “out of the huts of history’s shame” and “up from the past that’s rooted in pain.”  She has psychologically risen above the stereotypes, the discrimination, and the racism she has experienced as a black woman. 

Because she compares herself to the riches of an oil field, gold, and diamonds, she is acknowledging how valuable she is as a person and how she has learned to value herself as well.

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