We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings


by Maya Angelou

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Chapter 17 Summary

  • Saturdays are Maya's favorite day of the week. She doesn't really have any reason why—they just are.
  • Every Saturday, Maya gives Bailey Jr. her allowance so that he can go see a movie. In return, he buys her some comics. Win-win.
  • But this Saturday is different. Bailey Jr. is late.
  • Momma and Maya go searching for him, and when finally they find him, he seems shaken by something he has seen.
  • Days later, Bailey Jr. tells Maya that he saw a white actress in a movie (Kay Francis) that looked just like Vivian. A few weeks later, they go check it out and Maya totally sees it—this lady really does look like their mom. Bailey Jr. only gets mopier. He tries to hop on a train to see his "mother dear," but fails.
  • A year later, Bailey tries one more time to hop on a train to St. Louis, but this time he ends up lost in Baton Rouge for two weeks. Pretty epic fail, Bailey.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...