65 pages 2 hours read

Maya Angelou

The Heart of a Woman

Nonfiction | Autobiography / Memoir | Adult | Published in 1981

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Chapters 13-16Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 13 Summary

Angelou finds traces of makeup and perfume on Make’s clothing. She challenges him, and he reassures her. When she insists, he uses his identity as “an African” to assert the patriarchal power structure of their relationship. Meanwhile, Guy is getting on well with his new “dad” although Angelou is frustrated at the diminishment of her own authority in her son’s eyes and his increasingly dismissive behavior toward her. She fears he only sees her as a “convenience” rather than a source of parental or moral authority.

In her frustration and loneliness, Angelou is comforted by another actor, Roscoe Lee Browne, who seems to understand and sympathize with her situation. Angelou enjoys flirting with and fantasizing about him, although the relationship never goes any further.

Angelou receives two anonymous telephone calls, the first telling her that Make will not be coming home again, and the second that Guy has had an accident. Make tells her that the calls came from the South African secret police. Angelou is furious and remarks that from this point onward, her defiance of the apartheid regime and political support for her husband have become “personal” (194).

Ethel Ayler is leaving The Blacks, so she and Angelou go to the producer, Sydney Bernstein, to demand payment for the music they composed together.