Baxter, "who was to remain a startling beauty",  met Angelou's father, Bailey Johnson, a dietitian and cook, in , upon Johnson's return from serving in World War I. Angelou explains in the book's prologue why she wrote the book, which was to explain how she became, despite being born poor, Black, and female, a renowned author and poet. Candace Smith, who reviews the audio version of the book, states that Angelou celebrates the unconditional acceptance and support of her mother, who comes across "as a street-smart, caring woman who shaped the author's life and legacy by her words and example". Her husband Paul Du Feu talked her into publishing the book by encouraging her to "tell the truth as a writer" and to "be honest about it". After Baxter helps her through the birth of her son, Angelou goes from calling Baxter "Lady" to "Mom". Angelou was, as scholar Joanne Braxton has stated, "without a doubt,
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