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Maya Angelou

Singin’ and Swingin’ and Gettin’ Merry Like Christmas

12 Aug, 1976

singin and swinginAngelou’s third autobiographical work, published by Random House, covers the events in her life from 1949 to 1955. Angelou becomes a mother, enters the world of singing and acting, and goes on a world tour with the Broadway show Porgy and Bess. In a 1983 interview, Angelou explains the source of the book’s title:

…from a time in the twenties and thirties when black people used to have rent parties.
On Saturday night from around nine when they’d give these parties, through the next morning when they would go to church and have the Sunday meal, until early Sunday evening was the time when everyone was encouraged to sing and swing and get merry like Christmas so one would have some fuel with which to live the rest of the week.