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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings I know Why the Caged Bird Sings is a fascinating eye opener to the Jim Crow period in the New South It has a greater impact than textbooks on what it was like to be African American at that time in history because it is a story of real experiences that appeals to the readers emotions like no history textbook ever can While Maya Angelous story is unique in that her experiences are hers alone it is also a universal story that shows how black people were treated during that period and likewise how that affected their views of the world and consequently of themselves The Jim Crow period can be defined as the systematic practice of promoting the segregation of the Negro peoples favoring or promoting the segregation of the Negroes Jim Crow Laws were laws created for the ultimate purpose of keeping blacks and whites segregated At the time they used the phrase separate but equal however that wasnt really the case African Americans were not viewed by most whites to be truly equal citizens they were instead looked down upon In Maya Angelous autobiographical novel she illustrates for her readers the experiences she went through as a black girl growing up in the United States during the time of segregation The two characters that stand out most for me in I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings are Marguerite naturally because she is the main character and Momma because she was the main caregiver who Maya spent years with and who had a great influence on Mayas life Momma unlike Mayas mother lived in the South all her life She knows of all the struggle hard work determination and faith that living in Stamps Arkansas requires She is a strong person who believes in obedience and good will She loves Marguerite and never hesitates to teach her a lesson in life Momma
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