Even as a little girl, Maya already has it in her head that white girls are sugar, spice, and everything nice. Little black girls? Not so much. Racism has already made its way into Maya's world—and it's not leaving any time soon. Quote #2 •Boys? No, rather men who were covered with graves' dust and age without beauty or learning. The ugliness and rottenness of old abominations. (3.10)Mr. Stewart wins understatement of the year by calling the Ku Klux Klan members "boys." We bet he also calls monster trucks "tricycles." •Quote #3
•I wanted to throw a handful of black pepper in their faces, to throw lye on them, to scream that they were dirty, scummy peckerwoods, but I knew I was as clearly imprisoned behind the scene as the actors outside were confined to their roles. (5.22).Maya is still young when the white girls come to the Store and taunt Momma, but she already knows what it means to be black in Stamps. And for that matter, what it means to be white in Stamps. When in Caged Bird does Maya realize that there's a way out of these confined roles? •Quote #4
•This might be the end of the world. If Joe lost we were back in slavery and beyond help. It would all be true, the accusations that we were lower types of human beings. (19.17).Talk about blowing things out of proportion. If one black boxer loses one fight, it's the end of the world? Yikes. But that's what it feels like for Maya and her community—that's how desperate things are for black people in the South. •Quote #5
•The white kids were going to have a chance to become Galileos and Madame Curies and Edisons and Gauguins, and our boys (the girls weren't even in on it) would try to be Jesse Owenses and Joe Louises. (23.40)... •Mr. Donleavy...