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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 8 Summary

  • Living in the white section of Stamps is like living in Beverly Hills (ooh la la). Living in the black section is… not.
  • The Depression hits Stamps hard. Black or white, no one has money. Everyone is on welfare, living only on rations of lard, flour, salt, powdered eggs, and powdered milk. No one even has money to go to the Store.
  • Luckily, Momma is a smart cookie. She lets her customers trade their rations for her products, and the Store lives to see another day.
  • Then one Christmas, the unthinkable happens. Maya and Bailey Jr. get presents from their parents. Gasp! Presents from their parents?!
  • Wait…what? Why is that unthinkable? Well, because they are supposed to be dead.
  • Bailey Jr. and Maya don't deal with the shock well. They wonder why, if they were alive, their parents sent them away. Sad times ensue, including destroying the white doll their mother had given them as a gift.
  • But Bailey Jr. holds out hope—he thinks their parents will come for them soon.

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