Gather Together in My Name

Gather Together in My Name is a memoir by American writer and poet Maya Angelou. It is the second book in Angelou’s series of seven autobiographies. Written three years after her first autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, the book depicts a single mother’s slide down the social ladder into poverty.

About Gather Together in My Name in brief

Summary Gather Together in My NameGather Together in My Name is a memoir by American writer and poet Maya Angelou. It is the second book in Angelou’s series of seven autobiographies. Written three years after her first autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, the book depicts a single mother’s slide down the social ladder into poverty and crime. The title of the book is taken from the Bible, but it also conveys how one black female lived in the white-dominated society of the U.S. following the Second World War. The book exhibits the narcissism of young people, but describes how Rita discovers her identity. In 1993, Angelou recited her poem “On the Pulse of Morning” at the inauguration of President Bill Clinton, becoming the first poet to make an inaugural recitation since Robert Frost at John F. Kennedy’s inauguration in 1961. In 1971,Angelou published her first volume of poetry, Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ‘fore I Diiie, which became a bestseller and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. It was Angelou’s early practice to alternate a prose volume with a poetry volume. In the years following World War II Angelou, still known as Marguerite, has just given birth to her son, Clyde, and is living with her mother and stepfather in San Francisco. It continues exploring the themes of isolation and loneliness that she had begun in the first volume, and the ways she continued to victimization racism, sexism, and her continued relationship with her stepfather, Clyde.

Angelou continues to discuss racism in Gather Together, but moves from speaking for all Black women to describing how one young woman dealt with it. Some critics feel that the book’s structure, consisting of a series of episodes tied together by theme and content, parallels the chaos of adolescence, which some critics feel makes it an unsatisfactory sequel to CagedBird. Like many ofAngelou’s autobiographies, Gathered Together is concerned with Angelou ‘s on-going self-education. The author has said that the title is inspired by Matthew 18: 19-20: “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them’” The book was published in 1974 and received mostly positive reviews and was recognized as being better written than its predecessor. It made Angelou highly respected as a spokesperson for Blacks and women. According to scholar Joanne Braxton, it made her “without a doubt … America’s most visible black woman autobiographer’”. The book appears merely to appear merely to be a collection of incidents in the life of a single woman, but the book also speaks for all black women, and how they came to survive in a white- dominated society. It also describes how one Black female was able to survive in the wider context of post-war America, but in a way that speaks to all women.