Maya Angelou

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Who is the first person narrator in the story "Grandmother's Victory"?

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The first person narrator in the story "Grandmother's Victory" is actually the author herself: Maya Angelou. Maya Angelou was born in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1928. She was named Marguerite Annie Johnson. She lived out her early childhood years in Stamps, Arkansas, with her grandmother, Annie Henderson; she was sent to live in Stamps by her father after the dissolution of her parents's marriage. While the 1930s were a difficult time for most black individuals living in Middle America, Angelou's grandmother persevered as the owner of a successful general store.

It is the general store and Maya's grandmother's style of leadership there that serves as the focal point of this tale. In the story, Angelou describes the "most painful and confusing experience" she ever had with her grandmother. She explains the code of behavior and personal presentation that she was held to by her grandmother: one of cleanliness and respect. She goes on to describe how the "powhitetrash children" who live nearby persistently violate that code by making scenes in the store and calling Angelou's grandmother by her first name.

One summer morning, these children show up in the yard outside the store and start harassing Angelou's grandmother. They make fun of how she sings and stands and make faces at her. One child even exposes herself while doing a handstand. Nevertheless, Angelou's grandmother does not react. In remaining calm, she maintains her dignity and claims victory over these ragamuffins.

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