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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

by Maya Angelou

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Chapter 23: Questions and Answers

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Study Questions
1. Why were the graduates coming to school without books, tablets, and pencils?

2. What was the name of the school from which Marguerite was graduating?

3. How many buildings composed the training school?

4. How old was Marguerite at this graduation?

5. From what grade was Marguerite graduating? What was the year of her graduation?

6. Why do you think Mr. Donleavy came to the graduation ceremony?

7. Even though Marguerite’s last name began with a “J,” she would be one of the first called at the graduation ceremonies. Why?

8. The unknown white man who came on stage took a seat which did not belong to him. Whose seat did he take?

9. For what did the speaker praise the graduates of the training school?

10. Who led the singing and made the graduates proud?

1. The graduates were thinking of the future; they were coming to school without supplies, like travelers without a destination in mind.

2. The school was called Lafayette County Training School.

3. It had two buildings: main classrooms and the grade school and home economics building.

4. Marguerite was 12 at this graduation.

5. Marguerite was graduating from the eighth grade in 1940.

6. Mr. Donleavy came to the ceremony to try to secure the vote of the community.

7. Marguerite would be one of the first called because of her work.

8. The white man took the principal’s seat.

9. The speaker praised the graduates who had done well in sports.

10. The valedictorian, Henry Reed, led the group in singing.

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Chapter 22: Questions and Answers


Chapter 24: Questions and Answers