Graduation by Maya Angelou

This short essay takes place in Stamps, Arkansas and talks about how a community is
preparing for a graduation at the segregated middle school Lafayette Country Training school.
This short story is in the point of a view of a young girl graduating from eighth grade named
Marguerite. She is describing everybody’s eagerness and joy for this very special day.
Marguerite is specifically very proud of all her achievements and accomplishments and describes
herself as being the “birthday girl”. She makes it known that her mother and brother are also very
proud of her. Her mother made her a Sunday breakfast although it’s Friday and her brother
Bailey saved all his money and bought her a leather-bound copy of poems from Edgar Allen Poe
and they walked up and down the garden rows reciting lines. Marguerite is particularly excited
about her dress while her fellow classmates were wearing butter-yellow pique dresses her mom
had smoked the yoke into tiny crisscrossing puckers and embroider it with daisies. In a way
Marguerite was telling us her family’s well-being in the community pertaining to economic
class, she established that although her family isn’t the wealthiest because they are not able to
afford a custom made dress, they do have more money than the common because her mom was
able to afford material for the dress than having to wear a handy down. She also made it known
that she is in the top of her class and that people from their store was handing her money and
words of insight and inspiration. It was the day of the graduation and Marguerite mom, Brother
Bailey and Uncle Willie were off to the graduation, Marguerite was so nervous she got to the
graduation and sat with her “Comrades” (fellow students). The graduation began and her
principal started to speak when he signaled the students to sit down, it didn’t take long for
Marguerite to realize something was wrong. That’s when the principal introduced a man named
Mr. Donleavy...