I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings In Maya Angelou’s autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, we read about Maya’s struggle with her feelings about not having her parents around to help her through the racism of her time. Though Maya had a rough upbringing, the hard times of her childhood help shape her into the bright, strong, and independent woman she is today. Maya, or commonly known as Ritie, was raised with no parents. Ritie was content with living with her “momma” until the “terrible Christmas.” RItie was confident that her parents were dead, even though people told her that they were in California eating all the oranges they could. By receiving these gifts Ritie felt, “rudely awakened.” Though they don’t want to this made Ritie and Bailey think, “What did we do so wrong?” They Know that they did nothing wrong, but they couldnt help pondering the question. A little while before this, Ritie walked into the Store to find strangers, which are rare, talking with Uncle Willie. Before Ritie went outside to play, she caught uncle Willie say, “No ma’am ... no children and no wife. I have an old m-m-mother and my brother’s t-two children to l-look after.” Upon hearing this, Ritie thinks that she “didn’t mind his using us to make himself look good.” She had deep-rooted feelings of respect and loyalty toward her Uncle Willie. She believes that she would have had a better life with Uncle Willie as a father. During Ritie’s childhood, racism was definitely present, especially in the South. In this time period black men were hunted and killed for the tiniest things. For example, black men could not “do it” with a white woman. In one case pertaining Ritie and her uncle. After a black man does a white woman, a used-to-be sheriff warns that the “boys”, or “rather men who were covered with graves’ be sheriff warns that the “boys”,or
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