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Word Count: 934
In Maya Angelous autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings many major themes are implemented to describe the harsh reality of growing-up in the south and being black She uses the universal themes of racism cruelty education abandonment and many others to show the reader what she has persevered over throughout her life to become the strong independent woman that she is today One such theme in her autobiography prevalent throughout the duration of the book is that of racism Three instances in her life where she must fight against racism are at her eighth- grade graduation at her first employment with a white woman and with Bailey Jr Mayas brother after he witnesses a lynching The theme of racism is employed to show the reader what it was like to grow-up black in a segregated society An example of how Maya Angelou is affected by the ugliness of racism is at her eighth-grade graduation from Lafayette County Training School In Stamps the black community revered the graduation as a great event It is so great that there will be a white speaker Maya sits through the beginning of the graduation ceremony with a sense of doom She feels that something is going to ruin the joyous occasion for her and the graduating class The white speaker Mr Donleavy gives his oration on the improvements the children of Stamps had to look forward to He spoke of how the white children at the Central School would get new science equipment and a well known artist to teach them art These improvements were made graciously possible because of him He assures the graduating class that they were not to be left out He tells them that he has pointed out to people of a very high level that one of the first-line football tacklers at Arkansas Agricultural and Mechanical College had graduated from good old Lafayette County Training School Maya feels that he has diminished
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