|I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings|
|Written by||Maya Angelou|
|Directed by||Fielder Cook|
|Starring|| Constance Good |
|Music by||Peter Matz|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Executive producer(s)||Thomas W. Moore|
|Producer(s)||Jean Moore Edwards|
|Editor(s)||Frank J. Urioste|
|Running time||96 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Tomorrow Entertainment|
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is an American television film based on the autobiography of the same name by Maya Angelou, first aired April 28, 1979 on CBS. Angelou and Leonora Thuna wrote the screenplay, and the movie was directed by Fielder Cook. Constance Good played the young Maya Angelou. Also appearing were Esther Rolle, Roger E. Mosley, Diahann Carroll, Ruby Dee, and Madge Sinclair. Filming took place in Vicksburg, Mississippi.
The movie traces Maya's life from when she and her brother move in with their grandmother to the trauma of being raped as a young girl by one of her mother's boyfriends and the several years of silence that came after the attack.
Two scenes in the movie differed from events described in the book. Angelou added a scene between Maya and Uncle Willie after the Joe Louis fight. In it, he expresses his feelings of redemption after Louis defeats a white opponent. Angelou also presents her eighth-grade graduation differently in the film. In the book, Henry Reed delivers the valedictory speech and leads the black audience in the Negro national anthem. In the movie, Maya conducts these activities.
(in credits order)
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Maya Angelou was an American poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist. She published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, several books of poetry, and is credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning over 50 years. She received dozens of awards and more than 50 honorary degrees. Angelou is best known for her series of seven autobiographies, which focus on her childhood and early adult experiences. The first, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969), tells of her life up to the age of 17 and brought her international recognition and acclaim.
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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is a 1969 autobiography describing the early years of American writer and poet Maya Angelou. The first in a seven-volume series, it is a coming-of-age story that illustrates how strength of character and a love of literature can help overcome racism and trauma. The book begins when three-year-old Maya and her older brother are sent to Stamps, Arkansas, to live with their grandmother and ends when Maya becomes a mother at the age of 16. In the course of Caged Bird, Maya transforms from a victim of racism with an inferiority complex into a self-possessed, dignified young woman capable of responding to prejudice.
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