Black Feminism & Intersectionality: A Multimodal Discourse Analysis of Expressional & Relational Value of language in Maya Angelou’s “Still I Rise”

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Aimen Batool, Saima Umer, Mari Sufi, Syed Zain Ul Abidin


This paper tries to conduct a thorough and concise critical discourse analysis revealing the discursive operations of black feminism and intersectionality in the poem “Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou. In the aim of doing CDA, it takes help from Fairclough’s critical discourse analysis model to highlight the deviation portrayed by the poet against the discursive structures of “female oppression” and “racism” through the expressional and relational value of language in the poem. Angelou’s writing reveals the discursive constructions of misogyny and racism in a way that becomes relevant to every woman around the world who has ever faced prejudice for her sex. Besides, the framework of intersectionality formulated by Kimberle Crenshaw is also employed to examine power relations between black women and their oppressors. The paper analyses the ways in which Angelou is challenging these discursive structures through the help of Ghani and Naz’s article ‘’Race, Feminism and Representation: an Inquiry into Maya Angelou’s Poetry’’ (2007). The CDA of the poem discloses that the poem, along with radiating pride and love for intersectionality and black feminism, also advocates the empowerment of not only women in general but black women in specific along with the advancement of people of colour.

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