Cotton-Picking Time by Maya Angelou

Cotton-Picking Time by Maya Angelou




Course instructor


“Cotton-Picking Time” by Maya Angelou was my favorite non-fiction compared to “from Man to Boy” by John Coleman. Angelou highlights some of the sufferings cotton pickers undergo right from the morning to the evening. Despite working hard and sacrificing in the cotton plantation, the cotton workers’ wages still do not satisfy them. The author’s mother wakes up with a lot of optimism and strong belief in God but her hopes and expectations do not bring the results expected. Angelou explains that, “their wages wouldn’t even get them out of debt to my grandmother, not to mention the staggering bill that waited on them at the white commissary downtown.” The other work only narrates a story about a name, which is not as touchy as the cotton plantation worker’s plight.

The overall theme of the work I preferred was the sufferings associated with poverty and slavery. Angelou explains that, “No matter how much they had picked, it wasn’t enough.” The lesson learned is the significance of persistence and determination amongst the less privileged individuals.

I connect with the character narrating the story because of the history and stories I have heard and read about cotton pickers in the South during slavery. The narrator narrates almost everything about what I have heard. Angelou says that, “During the picking season my grandmother would get out of bed at four o’clock (she never used an alarm clock) and creak down to her knees and chant in a sleep-filled voice.”

The fact that these are NON-FICTION essays (based on real experiences) greatly change the way I view/read the work because they attract my attention and enhance seriousness. Suppose they were fiction, I would have not taken them more serious.

I would you read more NON-FICTION essays like these rather than reading FICTION short stories from the week before because NON-FICTION are based on real experiences and are very touchy compared to the FICTION.