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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

by Maya Angelou

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In I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, why has Mrs. Flowers remained for Angelou "the measure of what a human being can be"?

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Maya finds Ms. Flowers remarkable because she posseses a sense of self and self-confidence that is rare among the black women Maya has known.  She is elegant and assured, kind and intelligent, proud and real.  "She makes Maya proud to be an African American. Knowing that Maya is an outstanding student, she provides her with the best of literature and introduces her to formal customs such as afternoon tea. "  Maya wants to be just like her some day; she becomes her "measure of what  a human being can be" (especially an African-American woman!)

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