42 pages 1 hour read

Maya Angelou

Mom & Me & Mom

Nonfiction | Autobiography / Memoir | Adult | Published in 2013

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Part 2, Chapters 20-25Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Part 2: “Me & Mom”

Part 2, Chapter 20 Summary

Angelou meets a woman at dance class who suggests she work as a strip-tease dancer at the nightclub where she works. She considers the choice since she needs money but asks her mother for advice. Vivian helps her make a costume. Angelou rehearses and auditions for the job. Eventually, she gets hired.

San Francisco columnists praise Angelou’s dancing and working skills. Her performances draw more customers to the nightclub. She becomes friendly with a group of men and a woman and visits the club they own. One night, Angelou sings a calypso song at an apartment, and the owner of the club suggests she work as a singer. She is nervous about singing, but her friends find a vocal coach and she eventually takes the job. Her opening night is successful, and her salary increases. Despite being divorced, Angelou maintains Tosh’s surname because she likes the way it sounds.

Part 2, Chapter 21 Summary

Angelou is offered a role in the opera production Porgy and Bess. However, the production is going to tour Europe, and she does not want to leave her son. Vivian says it is an opportunity for her to see Europe and that Guy can stay with her. Angelou is afraid that her son might feel abandoned but explains the situation to him.