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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
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Sample of Jim Crow, not Russell

  1. PrE-mancipation
    After the Civil War, African-Americans were "free," but things weren't exactly fine and dandy between races. To understand the context of Angelou's work, it is important to refresh your memory on the Civil War and the issues of slavery that were still lingering even after the war ended.

  2. Jim Crow, not Russell
    Following the Emancipation of slaves, laws were put into place to keep African-Americans from gaining true equality. These laws stayed on the books far too long, and resulted in segregation and gross inequality, especially in the South. For more historical context, check out Shmoop on Jim Crow.