In "Still I Rise," the writer addresses 'you' several times in the poem. Who is meant by 'you' and how can we tell?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Who is meant by 'you' in the poem "Still I Rise" by Maya Angelou is American society in general and the thoughts held by some in this society. She addresses, for example, those who record history, whether its academic historians with prejudices against black people; newspapers and magazines with the same intent, or anyone or any group that records in a malevolent way stories about black people and their particular organizations.

Angelou writes:

You may write me down in history

With your bitter, twisted lies,

It is obvious in these lines that she is taking historians and others to task for their prejudicial writings and oral storytelling. These are those who report inaccurately and sometimes totally wrong the history and contemporary...

(The entire section contains 385 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team