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Preface Notes from I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

This section contains 233 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings Preface

Marguerite Johnson is at the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in Stamps, Arkansas. Her teacher is trying to get her to remember the words to a song, and the children are giggling at her forgetfulness, but Marguerite can only think about how the words relate to her own life in the town: "I didn't come to stay." Preface, pg. 3 She feels out of place there, and longs to leave. She is wearing a dress her grandmother, Momma, made. Marguerite thought the dress would make her beautiful, but when it was finished she saw it was just a hand-me-down dress from a white woman. She daydreams about how one day everyone will see she is not the ugly, awkward black girl they thought she was-in fact, she is white, with light blue eyes and blond hair. Her teacher mouths the words to the hymn to her, and she sings them reluctantly, then indicates that she has to go to the bathroom. Someone trips her, and her bladder lets go. She runs out of the church, crying, unable to control her bladder. But she laughs also, because she is glad to be out of the church. "If growing up is painful for the Southern Black girl, being aware of her displacement is the rust on the razor that threatens the throat. It is an unnecessary insult." Preface, pg. 6

Topic Tracking: Self Esteem 1

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