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We will remove contested content promptly upon receipt of legitimate requests. Readers who wish to obtain a permanent copy of any item are encouraged to acquire one from a bookseller of their choice. GUY A. JOHN C. GUY W. JOHN P. JOHN W. LEVI H. PAUL W. Bailey sticks up for Maya when people actually make fun of her to her face, wielding his charisma to put others in their place.
Growing up in Stamps, Maya faces a deep-seated southern racism manifested in wearying daily indignities and terrifying lynch mobs.
When Maya is eight, her father, of whom she has no memory, arrives in Stamps unexpectedly and takes her and Bailey to live with their mother, Vivian, in St. Louis, Missouri. Beautiful and alluring, Vivian lives a wild life working in gambling parlors.
Freeman, sexually molests Maya, and he later rapes her. They go to court and afterward Mr. In the aftermath of these events, Maya endures the guilt and shame of having been sexually abused.
She also believes that she bears responsibility for Mr. Believing that she has become a mouthpiece for the devil, Maya stops speaking to everyone except Bailey.
Bertha Flowers, a kind, educated woman who tells Maya to read works of literature out loud, giving her books of poetry that help her to regain her voice. During these years in Stamps, Maya becomes aware of both the fragility and the strength of her community. She attends a church revival during which a priest preaches implicitly against white hypocrisy through his sermon on charity.
The spiritual strength gained during the sermon soon dissipates as the revival crowd walks home past the honky-tonk party. Maya also observes the entire community listening to the Joe Louis heavyweight championship boxing match, desperately longing for him to defend his title against his white opponent. Maya endures several appalling incidents that teach her about the insidious nature of racism.