The Heart of a Woman (1981) is the fourth of seven autobiographies by
American writer Maya Angelou (pictured). She recounts events in her life
between 1957 and 1962, as she travels to California, New York, Cairo and
Ghana, and raises her teenage son. She becomes a published author active
in the US civil rights movement, and is romantically involved with a
South African freedom fighter. The book explores Angelou’s theme of
motherhood, and ends as she looks forward to newfound independence and
freedom when her son leaves for college. Although most critics consider
Angelou’s first autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings more
favorably, The Heart of a Woman has received positive reviews and was
chosen as an Oprah’s Book Club selection in 1997. The title is taken
from a poem by Harlem Renaissance poet Georgia Douglas Johnson.
“Faithful to the ongoing themes of survival, sense of self, and
continuing education,” according to critic Lyman B. Hagen, “The Heart of
a Woman moves its central figures to a point of full personhood”.
Today’s selected anniversaries:
Twelve nations signed the North Atlantic Treaty, creating NATO,
an organization that constitutes a system of collective defense whereby
its member states agree to mutual defense in response to an attack by
any external party.
American civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. was
assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee.
The World Trade Center in New York City was officially
dedicated, about a year after the second of the building complex’s twin
towers was completed.
Norodom Sihanouk abdicated from the role of leader of Cambodia
and was arrested by the Khmer Rouge.
The Angolan government and UNITA rebels signed a peace treaty,
agreeing to follow the 1994 Lusaka Protocol and ending the decades-long
Angolan Civil War.
Wiktionary’s word of the day:
(obsolete, rare) Divination using logarithms.
Wikiquote quote of the day:
We never get anywhere in this world without the forces of history
and individual persons in the background helping us to get there. If you
have the privilege of a fine education, well, you have it because
somebody made it possible. If you have the privilege to gain wealth and
a bit of the world’s goods, well, you have it because somebody made it
possible. So don’t boast, don’t be arrogant. You, at that moment,
rise out of your self-centeredness to the type of living that makes you
an integrated personality.
–Martin Luther King, Jr.
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