Angelou constructs "Still I Rise" utilizing informal diction as a means of linking to the history of her ancestors and showing the innate power through the connection.
Near the end of the poem, the speaker of this poem (presumably Angelou speaking as herself) powerfully states that she has risen "out of the huts of history's shame." She is referring to the enslavement of her ancestors in America; as such, she connects to the ways her ancestors were oppressed. Slaves were almost always kept intentionally illiterate with most slave owners fearful of the power of slave literacy. In order to connect with this idea of oppression, Angelou crafts diction that relies on informal, casual wording and phrasing such as 'cause and diggin'. Her powerful metaphors utilize common comparisons that would have been understandable to any slave: dust, air, and backyard.
The diction in the following stanza also connects to the common fears and horrors of her ancestors:
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with...
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