|Discussion for Maya Angelou's The Heart of a Woman
1. How would you describe Maya's relationship with her son, Guy? What are her concerns raising a black son?
2. According to Maya and Mom Willie, how are black families different?
3. John says, "Everything in this society is geared to keeping a black boy from growing to manhood (p. 91)." What does he mean by this? What does it take to grow from boyhood to manhood?
4. How does Maya create an extended family for Guy? Why is this important to her?
5. Why does Maya move to Africa?
6. How does Maya respond to the changes in her life from her marriage to Vus? To what extent is this a reflection of the kind of life that she has led as a black woman?
7. Why doesn't Maya leave Vus earlier? What do you think finally prompts her?
8. Did you think that Maya was too protective of her son? too close to him? How is their relationship a result of her life? How does she respond to his departure for college?
9. What did you think of Maya as a mother? as a (black) woman?
10. Why is Maya so fiercely proud of Guy? Would she be a different mother with a daughter