Black Identity Formation in Repression: A Study of Selected Poems of Maya Angelou


  • Nathaniel Ojima Sunday Department of English & Literary Studies. University of Calabar
  • Ene Edem Ekpo Department of English & Literary Studies. University of Calabar


This work focuses on the struggle for Black identity formation by African-Americas which has always been a continuous task, despite their constant state of repression. This research, aims at revealing the excruciating ordeals of African-Americans in the hands of not just racist Whites but in the hands of black males as well. This research goes further to show how the black female character is struggling to assert herself from patriarchal subjugation. This research uses both primary and secondary sources of data to carry out a detailed exploration of the text under study. For the primary sources, a study of selected poems of Maya Angelou will be used. While the secondary sources consist studies that other researchers have made, concerning this research. This research adopts two theoretical criticisms the Feminist literary theory and the Marxist literary criticism. These theories have been able to promote the status of subjugated black females, by portraying them in positive light, making them conscious of their capabilities and rights and that they are not inferior to the males. It goes further to strive for class equality, so that African-Americas like European-Americans can enjoy equal rights and privileges. This study reveals that though African-Americas females suffer doubly as a result of their race and gender, their resilience at forging for themselves a sense of self amidst oppression remains intact. This paper concludes with a look into how Maya weaves imagery and symbols into ebonics to forge a unique and belligerent linguistic culture for African-Americans

Keywords: Black Identity, Formation, Repression, Ebonics, Belligerence.


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How to Cite

Sunday, N. O., & Ekpo, E. E. (2018). Black Identity Formation in Repression: A Study of Selected Poems of Maya Angelou. ANGLISTICUM. Journal of the Association-Institute for English Language and American Studies, 7(8), 41–53. Retrieved from



Volume 7, No.8, August, 2018