Books March 21, 2018

REVIEW ~ Maya Angelou’s Single & Swingin & Gettin Merry Like Christmas

This autobiography by Maya Angelou will continue to give hope to the black woman one stage and chapter at a time. Through her life, you feel like you can do almost anything!

It is the third book in Angelou’s seven-volume autobiography series. As revered as this American author, actress, screenwriter, dancer, poet and civil rights activist was, this was my first time reading anything from her that wasn’t a quote.

Regardless of starting with her third book, I didn’t feel like I had missed out on much. I believe I started just at the right place for me which was awesome considering we’re still celebrating International Women’s Month. No book could have given me the momentum I needed to take charge of my day and life in general.

This autobiography sees a young Maya struggling to make a living, be a mother and follow her dreams. In between jobs, Maya is literally saved by music.

Music which becomes the sun of this novel takes her on a journey of highs and lows. It almost reminds you of the waves of the infamous Bar Beach, pulling you back and drawing you in.

There wasn’t a time of her life in this novel that wasn’t as exciting as the tides crashing in on the shore.

Maya Angelou transitioned from dancing to singing early in her career, focusing on Calypso-style music while working in the Bay Area
Credit: Youtube

She takes us easily through America in a time of racial prejudice (yet almost liberated), the entertainment industry through the eyes of a black talent, travelling around the world and what it means to be a single black mother with the goal of living her dreams.

Regardless of the times, she lived in and her background, Maya was blessed to meet people who were pivotal to every step she took. From a Greek husband to an ‘exotic dancer’ in a bar, Maya takes her experiences with an open mind and the spirit to persevere.

From what she called modern ballet and interpretive dancing to travelling the world with the musical Porgy & Bess, Maya lived her very best life without compromising on her values. Regardless of her status at the beginning of this novel, the tone of the novel had me visualising Angelou’s chin up high and her nose in the air.


  • Try anything, even if it’s just once. Try it, say you did it and you didn’t like it. That’s much better than not having to experience the world in the little way you can.
  • If you do not know, ask. If you do not ask, you’d never know.
  • Humility is the attitude that drives the car. Consistency is the driver and hard work is the engine. That’s how Angelou became successful. Her and every other successful person we know of.
Tags: , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *