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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 24 Summary

  • Maya's many years of stealing candy from the Store have finally caught up to her. Retribution day has come—she has two gigantic cavities.
  • Since the nearest black dentist is 25 miles away, Momma decides to take Maya to the white Dr. Lincoln. Dr. Lincoln, like many people in Stamps, borrowed money from Momma during the Depression.
  • When they arrive, Dr. Lincoln refuses to treat Maya because she is black. This is not off to a good start.
  • Even though he shuts the door in their faces, Momma tells Maya to sit tight, and she goes inside the office to talk to him.
  • Now comes Maya's hilarious fantasy about what went down in the office. Yep, she imagines that Momma beats up Dr. Lincoln and nearly kills him with her secret magical powers and strength.
  • Please read this. We half expected Momma to start yelling "This! Is! Sparta!", but it never happened. Still, this is definitely the product of youthful imagination and delirious pain.
  • After Momma comes out, they head to the black doctor in Texarcana by bus. Maya even gets to eat ice cream afterward. Not bad.
  • When she gets home, Maya tells Bailey Jr. about the epic and bloody battle that just went down.
  • But shortly after, they learn the real truth.
  • Momma made Dr. Lincoln give her ten dollars as final payment for his debt, and she used that to pay for the other dentist. Maya is sad because that is significantly less awesome than what she imagined. So are we.

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