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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

by Maya Angelou

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Chapter 4: Questions and Answers

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Study Questions
1. Whom did Marguerite consider “people”?

2. Why could whitefolks not be “people”?

3. Why did the people who did laundry pull items from the baskets to show others?

4. What meat did Mrs. Henderson buy twice a year?

5. Why did whites have fresh meat often?

6. Where did Marguerite and Bailey get meat the rest of the year?

7. What foods were preserved in Stamps?

8. Why did the men take a round bone from the ham knuckle?

9. Why was Bailey not punished often?

10. What need does every lonely child have?

Answers
1. Marguerite considered people to be those who lived on her side of town.

2. “Whitefolks couldn’t be people because their feet were too small, their skin too white and see-throughy, and they didn’t walk on the balls of their feet . . . they walked on their heels like horses.”

3. The people would take out a piece to show their talent for ironing or to show the fine things owned by their employers.

4. Mrs. Henderson bought liver twice a year.

5. Whites had meat often because they had refrigeration.

6. Bailey and Marguerite had meat from their smokehouse most of the year.

7. In Stamps anything that could be preserved was canned.

8. It “could make the meat go bad.”

9. Bailey was not punished often because he was the pride of the Henderson/Johnson family.

10. Every lonely child has “the unshaking need for an unshakable God.”

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Chapter 3: Questions and Answers

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Chapter 5: Questions and Answers