After the divorce of their parents, three-year-old Maya and also her brother, Bailey, Jr., a year her senior, tagged favor freight, arrive at the Wm. Johnboy General Merchandise Store, Momma Henderson"s grocery and feed save in Stamps, Arkansas. Daily, area workers pass with the keep to buy supplies, impushing the Maya character, or the speaker, through the anguish of their ill-phelp labors. From the outcollection, the author demonstrates a humanistic sympathy for the downtrodden Southern babsence. Her expert theatrical eye differentiates black misery as checked out by soft at an early stage morning glow and later on, by the harsher afternoon sun, which spotlights the field laborer"s hand-to-mouth battle versus low wages, long hours, and soul-wearying drudgery. As a blessing on this near-servant level of subsistence, the author discloses Momma"s straightforward pre-dawn prayer, a stoic litany type of which thanks God for one more day of life.
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At age 5, Maya, later on singled out by Momma for her tender heart, is astute enough to realize that Uncle Willie"s contorted body lessens his manhood. He appeases psychic pain by concealing his affliction from two strangers from Little Rock. As an adult, Angelou probes a better denigration by conjuring up the "cement deals with and eyes" of Klansmales "spanned via graves" dust and also age without beauty of discovering," which represent the hatred of the a lot of rabid of Arkansas racists. Uncle Willie, too lame to ward off the feared night riders, moans his helplessness from layers of potatoes and onions, which conceal his develop in the vegetable bin "prefer a cassefunction."
c/o a postal abbreviation for "in care of."
The Brazos a Texas river, flowing previous Waco to Freeport on the Gulf of Mexico via stereotypical cowboy nation.
juice harp(Jew"s harp) a steel or bamboo percussion instrument widespread to Europe and also Asia given that primitive times and also initially called a jaw harp. Holding the harp between the teeth, the player vibrates the central stem through strums of the finger while transforming positions of the mouth, tongue, and also jaw to transform the resulting twangy tones.
fo" bits and also 6 bits fifty cents and also seventy-five cents.
paranoia an abnormal psychological state which regularly reasons the sufferer to feel persecuted.
cotton bolls the difficult, prickly, taloned, fibrous pod which encases a growing fluff of cotton and thwarts the picker"s initiatives.
Butler; Henley Samuel Butler (1835-1902), author of Erewhon and The Way of All Flesh, and William Ercolony Henley (1849-1903), writer of the poem "Invictus," which students regularly memorize for its bold espousal of self-determicountry and also individualism.
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abacuses counting frames created of color-coded beads that are slid along rods or wires for quick hand calculation; still popular in Japan and various other Eastern nations.