I Know Why the Caged Bird sings is an autobiography written by Maya Angelou one of many great voices of contemporary African-American Literature. I know why the caged bird sings starts off in Stamps, Arkansas. When their parents are at the pint of getting a divorce, Maya and Bailey are sent to their Grandmother and Uncle, Momma Henderson and Uncle Willie. After living with them for a while Bailey and Maya finds out their parents are alive. All this time they thought their parents were dead and that they had been given away.
One day their father, Bailey Sr., comes to see them. He ends up coming to get them to take them to their mom, Vivian's house. She lives with her boyfriend, Mr. Freeman. Mr. Freeman ends up raping her. She is only eight at the time. Because of this Vivian's brothers, Tutti, Tom, Ira, and Billy kill him by stomping him to death. After this Maya be3comes a mute only talking to her brother Bailey. Because Maya wont talk her mother sends them back to their grandmother. When Maya gets back she gets a job under Viola Cullihan, who is racist. Maya ends up getting fired.
One day Maya has a toothache. She went to the only dentist in Stamps but he wouldn't treat her cause he said, "He would rather stick his hand in the mouth of a dog than the mouth of a "nigger." She is then scared when Bailey is locked up with a dead body as a bad joke. Their grandmother then says that it is time for Maya and Bailey to leave. She sends them to California with their mother. One day Maya decides to go see her dad. His girlfriend doesn't like Maya so one day to make her jealous he takes Maya on a trip, only to get drunk and pass out. In an attempt to get home Maya tries to drive but she only hits a car. After that Maya goes back to her mother's house. When she gets back Bailey leaves because of a job so Maya gets a job to. She was the first black female to be a streetcar conductor.
In the fall Maya, goes back to school.