Maya Angelou, in I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, tells her story of how and when she grew up. In Arkansas at the time of Maya Angelou's childhood, many things were looked upon as bad or unfavored. Maya's problem was that she was black and a woman. This was looked down upon in her society, because blacks were "no good" and women were only useful for sex. Maya struggles throughout her childhood to accept her race and gender.
Finding pride in one's race has a feeling of acceptance, a feeling of companionship, knowing that you have many people standing with you, as a nation. One of the things that shows pride in your race is your national anthem. When Maya and her school-mates sing the Negro National Anthem, they feel a pride in what they were, who they were. "Then the song every Black person I knew called the Negro National Anthem. All done in the same key, with the same passion and most often standing on the same foot." Maya tells how they were one as a race and could feel the power of her people, just by singing the song that they loved. As people, they found acceptance toward their race by having their own National Anthem.
In her people, she found acceptance. Whenever some sports figure or celebrity does something great, it makes their countrymen proud of what they had done for who they were. The sports figure that Maya and her family took pride in was Joe Louis, a prize-fighter. :Then the voice, husky and familiar, came to wash over us--'The winnah, and still heavyweight champeen of the world . . . Joe Louis.' Champion of the world. A Black boy. Some Black mother's son." Maya, along with the rest of the town, found acceptance in their race with Joe Louis' accomplishments, because he was the person who could beat the white people to the ground, and never get punished.
Maya found partial acceptance as a female when she had to go to the dentist. The dentist would not help her, so when Annie goes in, Maya feels that Annie is very powerful. More powerful than...