Birdz Essay

768 Words4 Pages
Maya Angelou is an insecure black girl in the American South during the 1930s but then moves over to California during the 1940s. Maya’s parents divorce when she is only three years old and then Maya and her older brother, Bailey, have to live with their grandmother, Annie Henderson, in Stamps, Arkansas. Annie, who they call Momma, runs the only store in the black section of Stamps and becomes the moral figure in Maya’s childhood. Later on the children’s father comes to Stamps when Maya is 8 and takes her and her brother to St. Louis to see their mother. Since it is the early 1900’s Maya has to deal with practically no rules since she is black and slavery was abolished about 30 years ago. As young children, Maya and Bailey struggle with having been rejected and abandoned by their parents. Maya torments herself think she is an ugly child who will never be like the “cool”, white girls. She also does not feel equal with black children. Growing up in Stamps, Maya faces southern racism manifested in wearying daily indignities and terrifying lynch mobs. She spends time at Momma’s store, observing the cotton-pickers as they journey to and from work in the fields. One Easter Sunday, Maya is unable to finish reciting a poem in church, and she feels like a failure, Maya races from the church crying, and wetting herself. Bailey sticks up for Maya when people actually make fun of her to her face. When Maya’s father, of who she has no memory, arrives in Stamps unexpectedly and takes her and Bailey to live with their mother, Vivian, in St. Louis, Missouri. Vivian lives a wild life working in gambling parlors. One morning Vivian’s boyfriend, Mr. Freeman, sexually molests Maya, and he later rapes her. They go to court for charging Mr. Freeman for rape after they are done in court Maya figure outs Mr. Freeman is violently murdered, probably by some the underground criminal
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