Topics for Discussion

1. What does Maya think about her grandmother’s religious beliefs? Why is the church so important to Momma?

2. Why is the next door neighbor, Mr. McElroy, able to be independent?

3. What secrets does Maya share with her brother? How does her relationship with her brother develop as they both grow older?

4. How does Maya respond to the violence in her life and society?

5. After her rape, why does Maya refuse to talk to anyone but Bailey? Why will she talk to him?

6. Why does Maya fight the San Francisco street car authorities for a job?

7. What is Maya’s reaction when she learns that she is pregnant?

8. Why does Maya dislike herself? How does she learn to recognize her positive qualities?

9. How are Momma and Vivian different? What does Maya learn from each of them?

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