Book of the Week: The Heart of a Woman

The Heart of a Woman
By Maya Angelou


In The Heart of a Woman Maya Angelou leaves California with her son, Guy, to go to New York. There she enters the society and world of black artists and writers and begins to take part in the struggle of black Americans for their rightful place in the world. She helps organize a benefit cabaret for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and then is appointed Martin Luther Kings Northern Coordinator. Shortly after that, through her friend Abbey Lincoln, she takes one of the lead parts in Genet’s The Blacks and even writes music for the production.

The Heart of a Woman is filled with unforgettable vignettes of famous people, from Billie Holiday to Malcolm X, but perhaps most important is the story of Maya Angelou’s relationship with her son. Because this book chronicles, finally, the joys and the burdens of a black mother in America and how the son she had cherished so intensely and worked for so devotedly finally grows to be a man.

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