The author could have depicted herself as. It is clear that this title had great significance to Angelou, as it was the title to her entire life story. Outwardly the poem I know why the caged bird sings or Caged Bird as it is often interchangeably known, can be seen as a reflection on social disparity, and the ideals of freedom and justice. Such a powerful and vivid mind she has.
Her portrayal of the injustice using a free bird and a caged bird leaves us with a bitter taste that reminds us of the long abolished slavery. The title of the poem you are referring to is Caged Bird. In her autobiography, she talked about the struggle of being a black author and poet.