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All God's Children Need Traveling Shoes, published in 1986, is the fifth book in African-American writer and poet Maya Angelou's seven-volume autobiography series. Set between 1962 and 1965, the book begins when Angelou is 33 years old, and recounts the years she lived in Accra, Ghana. The book, deriving its title from a Negro spiritual, begins where Angelou's previous memoir, The Heart of a Woman, ends — with the traumatic car accident involving her son Guy — and closes with Angelou returning to America.

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  • All God's Children Need Traveling Shoes
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  • All God's Children Need Traveling Shoes, published in 1986, is the fifth book in African-American writer and poet Maya Angelou's seven-volume autobiography series. Set between 1962 and 1965, the book begins when Angelou is 33 years old, and recounts the years she lived in Accra, Ghana. The book, deriving its title from a Negro spiritual, begins where Angelou's previous memoir, The Heart of a Woman, ends — with the traumatic car accident involving her son Guy — and closes with Angelou returning to America.
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  • All God's Children Need Traveling Shoes
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  • All God's Children Need Traveling Shoes, published in 1986, is the fifth book in African-American writer and poet Maya Angelou's seven-volume autobiography series. Set between 1962 and 1965, the book begins when Angelou is 33 years old, and recounts the years she lived in Accra, Ghana. The book, deriving its title from a Negro spiritual, begins where Angelou's previous memoir, The Heart of a Woman, ends — with the traumatic car accident involving her son Guy — and closes with Angelou returning to America. As she had started to do in her first autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, and continued throughout her series, Angelou upholds the long tradition of African-American autobiography. At the same time she makes a deliberate attempt to challenge the usual structure of the autobiography by critiquing, changing, and expanding the genre. Angelou had matured as a writer by the time she wrote Traveling Shoes, to the point that she was able to play with the form and structure of the work. As in her previous books, it consists of a series of anecdotes connected by theme. She depicts her struggle with being the mother of a grown son, and with her place in her new home. Angelou examines many of the same subjects and themes that her previous autobiographies covered. Although motherhood is an important theme in this book, it does not overwhelm the text as it does in some of her other works. At the end of the book, she ties up the mother/son plot when she leaves her son in Ghana and returns to America. According to scholar Mary Jane Lupton, "Angelou's exploration of her African and African-American identities" is an important theme in Traveling Shoes. By the end of the book, Angelou comes to term with what scholar Dolly McPherson calls her "double-consciousness", the parallels and connections between the African and American parts of her history and character. Racism continues to be an important theme as she learns more about it and about herself. Journey and a sense of home is another important theme in this book; Angelou upholds the African-American tradition of the slave narrative and of her own series of autobiographies. This time she focuses on "trying to get home", or on becoming assimilated in African culture, which she finds unattainable. All God's Children Need Traveling Shoes received a mixed reception from critics, but most of their reviews were positive.
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  • 0-394-52143-9
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