The success of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings encouraged Angelou and her publishers to publish four additional autobiographical novels that cover the years following the birth of her son. These works have been received with the same enthusiasm as I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and continue to explore themes of racism and religion.
Gather Together in My Name describes how Angelou supported herself and her child. Singin’ and Swingin’ and Gettin’ Merry Like Christmas is about an unsuccessful marriage and her theatrical career. The Heart of a Woman concerns Angelou’s life in the 1950s and 1960s, and All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes tells about the four years she spent in Ghana.
CBS presented a television version of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings in 1979. Angelou wrote the screenplay in collaboration with Leonora Thuna, and Fielder Cook directed. The television adaptation focuses on the pathos of the black community in the Depression-era South, relying on tone rather than dramatic suspense to advance the plot of the story.