Read the first section (prologue to and including chapter 11) and complete the following discussion board:
1. Why do you think Maya Angelou chose the first words of her autobiography to be “What you looking at me for? I didn’t come here to stay?” What is the meaning and importance of the prologue as a whole?
2. What kind of woman is Momma? What is Maya’s relationship with her?
3. What are Maya and Bailey’s parents like? Do the children seem to love them? Why or why not?
4. Segregation is obviously a harsh reality in Maya’s life and therefore in the text. In chapter 4, Angelou writes, “I remember never believing that whites were really real” (25). What does she mean by this?
5. In chapter 5, Angelou recalls an episode between her grandmother and the ‘powhitetrash’ children. What happens and why is it important?
6. Write 2 questions or comments you have about the text and reply to at least 3 of your classmates’ questions/comments.
Note: Because we may not all have the same edition, when you quote from the text, please include the page but also the chapter number so everyone knows at least where to look.