I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Topics: Black people, White people, Race and Ethnicity Pages: 2 (391 words) Published: November 3, 2013
Finishing Schools: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

“Negro girls in small Southern towns, whether poverty-stricken or just munching along on a

few of life's necessities, were given as extensive and irrelevant preparations for adulthood as rich white

girls shown in magazines. Admittedly the training was not the same.”

In her excerpt from I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Marguerita Johnson recalls a time when

she had to deal with racist, how she was treated and what was expected from her as a black women in

the late 1930s society. Marguerita Johnson's develops this understanding of racism by working for

white women who treat her like she is beneath them because of her color and change her name because

they find her real name to be to long to pronounce. Marguerita Johnson's purpose is to tell the story of

her growing up in a racially segregated Stamps in order to help people better understand the problems

black women had to deal with growing up and as adults. Margurita Johnson uses description and story

telling, along with petty and a somewhat frustrating tone, with her late 1900's audience, which would

probably include whites and blacks alike but mostly blacks until today which every race now here in

America reads if you go to school.

In this quote, Margurita Johnson talks about how negro girls like white girls were given

extensive and irrelevant preparations for adulthood. The exception was that the training was not the

same. The training was different because white girls were being taught how to dance and sit in the

appropriate manner while black girls were being taught about the mid Victorian values which were

about labor. I believe she was right about the education being different, black girls where not expected

to be nothing else but labor workers in the house of white people. By the teachings of the white girls I

would assume they were not expected to do any work but to find a husband...
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