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Free Study Guide-I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou-Summary
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LITERARY/HISTORICAL REFERENCES

Akim Tamiroff - a Russian who acted in the United States

Alley Oop - the name of the caveman for whom V.T. Hamlin named his popular cartoon strip, which was begun in the 1930s

Basil Rathbone - a popular British actor

Bette Davis - a popular American actress

Bluebeards - literary characters who are known for being bad guys and murderers

Brobdingnag - a country of giants that appears in Gulliver’s Travels

C.M.E. - Colored Methodist Episcopal, a popular religion among black people

Captain Marvel - a comic book character created in 1939

chow-chow - a type of relish, usually made from peppers, onions, carrots, and cucumbers

Cisco Kid - a Mexican character who appeared in a comic strip and in Westerns filmed in the U.S..


D’Artagnan - one of the characters of The Three Musketeers, a novel by Alexander Dumas

Daughters of Pythias - the woman’s branch of the Knights of Pythias; they function is largely charitable

Dolores Del Rio - a well-known Mexican actress in the 1940’s and 1950’s

Donald O’Connor - an American stage star who is best know for his roles in musical comedies

double entendres - words or phrases that have double meanings.

Eastern Stars - the female relatives of Masons (see below), who gather to perform civic and service projects and to enjoy fellowship with one another

The Elks - a group of men who gather in a lodge for charitable and social purposes

Fillmore - the district in San Francisco where the blacks lived

Green Hornet - the fictional nephew of the Lone Ranger. He was the star of a popular radio show that was broadcast in the 1930s and 1940s.

Horatio Alger - a popular 19 th century author of over 100 books

Jane Withers - a well-known American actress, who starred in movies in the 1950’s and 1960’s

Joe Louis - a black fighter who was the world heavyweight champion from 1937 - 1949

John Brown - a famous American abolitionist who was killed in 1859 for his raid on Harper’s Ferry, the home of a federal arsenal

Katrina Paxinou - a Greek actress who starred in several American movies

Katzenjammer Kids - cartoon strip characters drawn by Rudolph Dirks

Knights of Columbus - an organization of Catholic men who meet for service and social projects

Masons - an organization of men dedicated to performing charitable work

Toussaint L’Ouverture - an 18 th century military leader who freed Haiti

morocco bound - covered with nice leather

Nisei - second generation Japanese, who were born and live in America

Pancho Villa - a well-known Mexican bandit

The Phantom - a popular cartoon strip created by Roger Moore in the 1930s, The Phantom was later made into comic books, movies, and television shows.

Pride and Prejudice - a novel by Jane Austen

Rippers - bad guys, like Jack the Ripper, who are known for slitting the throats of women

The Rover Boys - a series of young adult novels written by Edward Stratemeyer, who also wrote The Hardy Boys, The Bobbsey Twins, and The Nancy Drew Mysteries.

scones and crumpets - common teacakes

The Shadow - a popular detective program broadcast on the radio in the 1930s

Tiny Tim - the crippled boy in Dickens’ famous book, The Christmas Carol

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