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All God's Children Need Traveling Shoes (1986)

by Maya Angelou

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Maya Angelou's Autobiographies (5)

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1,0621116,538 (3.84)37
The author describes her odyssey to Ghana in the 1960s, meant as a return to her African roots. Over a few years she transformed herself by learning to speak Fanti, dressing in Ghanian style and delving in politics. But after encountering racial prejudice and losing her son in a car crash, she returned to America.… (more)
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» See also 37 mentions

English (10)  French (1)  All languages (11)
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
A candid chronicle of the author's life, this is a continuation of "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings".
  BLTSbraille | Sep 2, 2021 |
I read this book years ago but was discussing it again today with a friend. A book that becomes part of my life - what a gift! Maya Angelou is telling two stories at once - no,3 - layered so you might think you're reading just one.
Maya Angelou is teaching in Ghana and marveling in the feel of people-who-look-like-me, with this sense of having come home to Mother Africa. She slowly unpacks how the USA is her home, in fact, and she lets go of Mother Africa. At the same time her son accompanies her to Ghana - and he is letting go of his mother, too. Ms. Angelou lives both the coming and the going at the same time, the embracing and the letting go. And then there is the third story, which is that of an ex-patriate, a person of privilege, living in a country of cultural richness emerging from a colonial "mother". There's a probably a fourth story going on here simultaneously. I'm just amazed that this book is not part of the high school canon. It's accessible and complex at the same time. Thank you, Maya Angelou. ( )
  MaryHeleneMele | May 18, 2020 |
I've been reading through the autobiographies of Maya Angelou. This is the next for me - fifth in the series of seven written by this extraordinary woman. The title derives from a Negro Spiritual, and describes Angelou's years spent in Ghana in the early 1960s. She became part of the ex-pat community and felt both at home because of her ancestry and apart because she was immediately recognized as a Black American. Although she made many Ghanaian friends she was surprised at the attitudes of the people who wondered why she would leave America. Angelou felt they did not understand the conditions of race relations in America.

I enjoyed this book and the adventures she describes as she discovers Ghana. But I feel the best of the series so far was the first, "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings." ( )
  steller0707 | Aug 25, 2019 |
What an honest account of her travels back to Africa and her struggles to make her way in her new homeland. She is honest in her recounting of learning the new languages, customs, and rules, both among the Ghanaian people and the ex-pats who were many of her first contacts there. The accident that changes her and her son's life is described in intense detail as taking both a physical and emotional toll on them. And it took me a while to realize she was talking about Malcolm X coming to Ghana but what an incredible event in her stay there. Ms. Angelou rubs shoulders with leaders of all layers of society, including royalty, and her incorporating these events in her life are honest. And her poetry of language is, as always, fantastic. ( )
  threadnsong | Dec 29, 2018 |
I found the book very interesting and found it difficult to put it down. ( )
  JerseyGirl21 | Jan 24, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Maya Angelouprimary authorall editionscalculated
Rutten, KathleenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, Coming for to carry me home.
Dedication
This book is dedicated to Julian and Malcolm and all the fallen ones who were passionately and earnestly looking for a home.
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The breezes of the West African night were intimate and shy, licking the hair, sweeping through cotton dresses with unseemly intimacy, then disappearing into the utter blackness.
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The author describes her odyssey to Ghana in the 1960s, meant as a return to her African roots. Over a few years she transformed herself by learning to speak Fanti, dressing in Ghanian style and delving in politics. But after encountering racial prejudice and losing her son in a car crash, she returned to America.

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