i know why the caged bird sings summary
The story begins in 1931, as Maya, age three, and her elder brother, Bailey, are sent to Stamps, Arkansas, to live with their paternal grandmother, whom they call Momma, after their parents’ breakup. Maya visits the streetcar company's office frequently, over a number of weeks, most times facing the same racist refusal; finally, she is hired as the first black streetcar conductor in San Francisco. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Summary When the story opens, Marguerite (Maya) Johnson and her brother, Bailey Johnson Jr., are three- and four-years-old, and they're on a train from California to Arkansas. Mr. Freeman begins molesting eight-year-old Maya, threatening to kill Bailey if she tells anyone. In I Know Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings literature essays are academic essays for citation. Maya also begins to take dance and drama classes. One night a former sheriff warns Momma to hide her disabled son because white men are planning revenge after a Black man “messed with” a white woman. Later Mr. Freeman is found dead, apparently having been beaten to death. away and lives for a month with a group of homeless teenagers in At Maya’s eighth grade graduation, a white speaker devastates the There aren't any black dentists in Stamps, so Momma decides to take her to a white dentist instead. At last Bailey tells her that he saw an actress in one of the movies who looks exactly like their mother. The store is crammed with people listening to a Joe Louis fight on the radio; he is fighting a white man, and of course they all support Joe Louis because he is black. A year later their father, Daddy Bailey, arrives in a fancy car, and he takes Maya and Bailey to St. Louis to live with their mother, the beautiful Vivian. We get the feeling that they have bad/absent parents because, um, who puts toddlers on trains by … People join in and sing, and the condescension of Mr. Donleavy is purged. Momma takes her to the only dentist in Stamps, a white As young children, Maya and Bailey struggle with the One day, Daddy Bailey takes Maya with him on a shopping trip to Mexico. Their grandmother runs a store there, which is the center of life in the Negro community of the town. the body. Bailey comes back late from the movies one Saturday, which makes Momma worried. Maya thinks that Uncle Willie and Momma decide to send them to California because they know that Maya and Bailey won't be able to live with the way things are there. She later reads the lesbian novel The Well of Loneliness (1928) by Radclyffe Hall, and, misunderstanding what lesbianism is, she begins to fear that she might be a lesbian. Flowers says that although Maya does good work in school, she needs to talk; Mrs. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, the first of seven autobiographical works by Maya Angelou, published in 1969. become only athletes or servants. She spends time at Momma’s store, observing the cotton-pickers Assistant Editor, Encyclopaedia Britannica. After the incident, Momma decides to take Maya and Bailey back to their mother. Flowers stresses that spoken language is essential. He tells them that he saw a dead black man fished out of the pond; white man stood over the body and smiled, which disturbed Bailey. Use up and down arrows to review and enter to select. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings: About the poem “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” is a free verse written by the American poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou. He longs to be free out of his sorrowful life in the cage. They finally reach home, and Dolores and Daddy Bailey have an argument; she says she wants to marry him, but dislikes Maya and doesn't want her around. Bailey wants to know why white people hate black people so much, and what black people ever did wrong. through his sermon on charity. Maya finally regains the will to speak, and feels very special at being noticed and taught by Mrs. She has a B.A. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Her mother’s family accepts her silence at first The book chronicles her life from age 3 through age 16, recounting an unsettled and sometimes traumatic childhood that included rape and racism. She decides to get a boyfriend, so she asks a good-looking neighbor boy to have sex with her, and they do. Maya was forced to go to the funeral by Momma, and there she was confronted with the reality of death for the first time. Maya’s parents divorce When she develops cavities, Momma takes her to the white dentist who borrowed money from Momma during the Depression, but he refuses to treat the child, and they have to take a bus to the closest Black dentist. The Question and Answer section for I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is a great Feeling ugly because she imagined in vain that the dress her grandmother made her would be so pretty that she would be seen as a beautiful white child, she forgets the poem and then wets her pants as she flees the church in embarrassment.