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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

by Maya Angelou

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Who is the father of Maya Angelou's son?

The father of Maya Angelou's son is not named and is described only briefly in chapter 35 of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Angelou says that he was a handsome boy and was one of two brothers who lived up the hill from her mother's house. She approached him because she wanted to discover whether she was a lesbian or not, and they had sex only once.

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In chapter 35 of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou describes the father of her son very briefly and does not even give his name. He was one of "two handsome brothers...easily the most eligible young men in the neighborhood" who lived up the hill from her mother's house. Angelou had been concerned that she might be a lesbian and wanted to have a sexual encounter with a man to determine whether this was actually the case. She therefore approached the boy very abruptly and asked him if he wanted to have sexual intercourse with her.

The two of them went to a room occupied by a friend of the boy's. They had sex without speaking and parted quickly afterwards in mutual embarrassment. Three weeks later, having almost forgotten about the encounter, Angelou discovered that she was pregnant.

Although she initially saw this pregnancy as a disaster, the author quickly learned to care for her son, and she loves him deeply. Even the manner of his conception had its positive side. Although the sexual encounter was brief, awkward, and devoid of affection, it was initiated by Angelou, who remained in control throughout. Having endured sexual abuse and rape as a child, she was able to feel an all-important agency and security during this sexual experience.

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