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Encyclopedia > Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
Roll of Thunders, Hear My Cry

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ...

Author Mildred D. Taylor
Cover artist Jerry Pinkney
Country USA
Language English
Genre(s) Historical Fiction
Publisher Dial Press (Now Penguin Group)
Publication date 1976
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages 276pp
ISBN ISBN 0-590-98207-9
Preceded by Song of the Trees
Followed by Let the Circle Be Unbroken

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry is a 1976 children's novel written by Mildred D. Taylor. It tells the story of a land-owning African American family living in a rural area of Mississippi during the 1930s, and how they subsequently cope with mounting white oppression and racism in order to keep their land. It was made into a TV movie in 1978, starring Claudia McNeil as Big Ma, and Lark Ruffin as Cassie. For other uses, see Country (disambiguation). ... Motto: (traditional) In God We Trust (official, 1956–present) Anthem: The Star-Spangled Banner Capital Washington, D.C. Largest city New York City Official language(s) None at the federal level; English de facto Government Federal Republic  - President George W. Bush (R)  - Vice President Dick Cheney (R) Independence - Declared - Recognized... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... A publisher is a person or entity which engages in the act of publishing. ... Penguin Group is the second largest trade book publisher in the world. ... Hardcover books A hardcover (or hardback or hardbound) is a book bound with rigid protective covers (typically of cardboard covered with cloth, heavy paper, or sometimes leather). ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... ISBN redirects here. ... Let The Circle be Unbroken is the 1981 sequel to Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, written by Mildred D. Taylor. ... Mildred Delois Taylor (born in Jackson, Mississippi on September 13, 1943) is an author famous for her children’s fiction stories. ... This article is about the U.S. state. ... Year 1978 (MCMLXXVIII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link displays the 1978 Gregorian calendar). ...


Many of the events and themes are adult in nature, but the book is told in the first person narrative, as viewed through the eyes and ears of Cassie Logan, a fourth-grade girl. Cassie, at this young age, discovers the dangers of racism. First-person narrative is a literary technique in which the story is narrated by one or more of the characters, who explicitly refers to him or herself in the first person, that is, I. The narrator is thus directly or indirectly involved in the story being told. ...


The novel won the 1977 Newbery Medal[1] and is considered by some to be among the greatest children's novels of all time. Its sequel, Let the Circle Be Unbroken, was released in 1981. The John Newbery Medal is a literary award given by the Association for Library Service to Children of the American Library Association (ALA) to the author of the outstanding American book for children. ... Let The Circle be Unbroken is the 1981 sequel to Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, written by Mildred D. Taylor. ...

Contents

Main Characters

Cassie Logan

Nine year old Cassie Logan.She hates that she is treated differently and often wishes things weren't the way they were.


Stacey Logan

Stacey Logan, at 12 years is TJ's only real friend.


Christopher-John Logan

At age seven, Christopher-John Logan is a short, chubby boy who is the quietest Logan sibling. He doesn't like to get in trouble at all


Clayton Chester "Little Man" Logan

Clayton Chester Logan, nicknamed "Little Man", age six, is a smart boy; and cleanliness.


David "Papa" Logan

A tall, handsome man, David 'Papa' Logan is Big Ma's youngest son and is the brother of Uncle Hammer.He is willing to use his shotgun to protect T.J. but ultimately uses his ingenuity to stop the lynch mob and save T.J.'s life.


Mary "Mama" Logan

A thirty-three year old woman from the Delta, Mary 'Mama' Logan, went to high school and was sent to the Crandon Teacher School by her tenant-farmer father. Her father died during her final year in teacher school, and she married Papa when she was nineteen. She has taught at the Great Faith school for fourteen years, and has four children of her own


Caroline "Big Ma" Logan

Caroline "Big Ma" Logan, Papa's mother, is a woman in her sixties. She holds the deed to the Logan land, which was bought by her late husband, Paul Edward. She married him when she was eighteen, and they raised their four children, only two of whom survived, on the four hundred acres (1.6 km²) of land that he bought between 1887 and 1918. Big Ma is the voice of history in the book and tells stories about the past to Cassie. Her love of the land leads her to sign it over to her two sons to protect it from Harlan Granger. She has medical knowledge and is often called upon to tend those injured by white violence, including the Berrys, who were burned by the Wallaces. She is very religious and is a source of comfort to Cassie who shares a room and bed with her.


Hammer Logan

Hammer Logan is Big Ma's second youngest son and her only living son other than Papa. He lives in Chicago and drives a silver Packard like Mr. Granger does. Ultimately, he quells his temper and must sell his Packard in order to protect the land, bringing the money to his brother by hand and leaving before his presence can create any more tension among the locals.


Mr. Morrison

Mr. L.T. Morrison is an extremely big and strong older man whom Papa brings home from the railroad. His own family was brutally murdered by a lynch mob during Reconstruction and he says that the Logans are like family to him. His skin tone was dark ebony and he was very muscular.


T.J. Avery

An emaciated-looking, fourteen-year-old boy, T.J. Avery is foolish but provides a source of information about racial incidents for the Logan children. His "friendship" with the older, white Simms brothers leads him to commit a crime and nearly causes him to be lynched. His family lives on the Harlan Granger's cotton plantation.


Jeremy Simms

Jeremy Simms is a white boy. He walks to school with the Logans until he has to turn at the crossroads for the road to his school.He also has a sister, Lillian Jean, who pinches him and slaps him for walking with the Logans and his father whips him for doing anything with them, but Jeremy still meets up with them every day.


Plot summary

The book begins with Cassie and her brothers, Stacey, Christopher-John, and Little Man---whose real name is actually Clayton Chester---walking to school. Cassie talks about the land on which the Logan family lives. It once belonged to Harlan Granger, but he sold a thousand acres (4 km²) of it to cover his taxes during Reconstruction. Their grandfather bought two hundred acres (0.8 km²) of it in 1887, then another two hundred acres (0.8 km²) in 1918. For other uses, see Reconstruction (disambiguation). ... Year 1887 (MDCCCLXXXVII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Thursday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... 1918 (MCMXVIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar (see link for calendar) or a common year starting on Wednesday of the Julian calendar. ...


After several minutes of walking, T.J. Avery and his brother, Claude, join them. The Avery family sharecrops on the Granger Plantation. Later on, the white children's sleek school bus drives by. Everyone gets out of its way in time except Little Man, who's clothes becomes coated with red dust kicked up by the bus. Little Man didn't want to jump into a muddy gully to escape the bus, as he likes all his belongings neat and clean at all times, especially on the first day of school. This decision, however, backfired, leaving him coated in red dust from the dirt road. Chopping cotton on rented land near White Plains, Greene County, Ga. ...


Then, Jeremy Simms arrives on the scene. Jeremy is a white boy with an older sister, Lillian Jean, two older brothers, R.W. and Melvin, and most likely two or three younger siblings. Jeremy, Lillian Jean and all the other white children go to the fancy Jefferson Davis School, while the black children go to the rundown Great Faith Elementary and Secondary School. Jeremy is different from his other siblings, though. While they are mean and nasty, Jeremy refrains from racism and prejudice towards the Logans and other blacks, which carried much weight during the rural times of the Great Depression in 1933 when blacks were put down from other races with abusive words and harassment. African Americans, also known as Afro-Americans or black Americans, are an ethnic group in the United States of America whose ancestors, usually in predominant part, were indigenous to Sub-Saharan and West Africa. ... For other uses, see The Great Depression (disambiguation). ... Year 1933 (MCMXXXIII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Once the Logan children are at school, Cassie and Little Man are both whipped for refusing to take their books, worn-out castoffs from the neighboring white school. Their teacher, Miss Crocker, goes to see their gentle and very loving mother, Mary Logan, who is a teacher at their school and has Stacey and T.J. as students in her class. On Saturday, their father, David Logan, comes home from his railroad job in Louisiana and brings with him Mr. L.T. Morrison. He leaves the next day after church to catch a train. This article is about the U.S. State. ...


The next week, it rains constantly. After Cassie, Little Man, Christopher-John, and Stacey are splashed with mud by the school bus once again, they seek revenge. So, the children dig a ditch in the road during lunch, which the school bus crashes into after school. During the night, night men--similar to the Ku Klux Klan--come to the Logan family's home, but it is the wrong home so they leave. The next day, the Logans learn that they left and tarred and feathered Mr. Sam Tatum, a black man. Members of the second Ku Klux Klan at a rally during the 1920s. ... Tarring and feathering is a physical punishment, at least as old as the Crusades, used to enforce formal justice in feudal Europe and informal justice in Europe and its colonies in the early modern period, as well as the early American frontier, mostly as a type of mob vengeance (compare...


The next day of school, T.J. shows Stacey a copy of cheating notes for an exam in Mrs. Logan's class. During the test, he gives them to Stacey when he sees their teacher coming. She finds the notes, accuses Stacey of cheating on the test, and whips him. T.J. then runs to the Wallace Store---which the Logans forbid their children ever to visit---on the Grangers' land, and Stacey and the others follow him. Mr. Morrison finds them and takes them away just as Stacey begins to fight T.J. He is angry because the Caucasian Americans enjoyed the fight because it was between two blacks. He reminds them they are not supposed to be there for any reason but instead of telling their mother, Mr. Morrison leaves Stacey to decide whether or not to do so himself.


Stacey tells her, but they don't get whipped immediately. The next day, Mrs. Logan recruits people to boycott the Wallace Store because they are the cause of most of the trouble between the blacks and the whites, and are alleged members of the "night men".


On the second Saturday of December, Big Ma, Cassie's grandmother, takes Stacey, Cassie, and T.J. to Strawberry, a nearby town, and sells her goods at the market there. After lunch, they visit the office of Mr. Jamison, who is the their white lawyer who sold them the 200 acres (0.8 km²) of Harlan Granger's land in 1887. He is also one of the few white men in the town who treats black people with kindness and fairness, and serves them indiscriminantly. Only Big Ma, however, goes inside his office. Meanwhile, T.J. takes Cassie and Stacey to the Barnett Mercantile to purchase some items his family needs. Year 1887 (MDCCCLXXXVII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Thursday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ...


Mr. Barnett begins to serve T.J. at the mercantile store, but a white adult customer comes in and Mr. Barnett interrupts his business with T.J. to serve her instead. Then, a young white girl comes in and Mr. Barnett again stops serving T.J. to serve her. Cassie politely reminds Mr. Barnett that they have been waiting patiently for about an hour. He responds by telling her harshly to continue waiting. Cassie gets angry and begins yelling at Mr. Barnett. Stacey tells her to be quiet before she starts a squabble, but, nonetheless, Mr. Barnett kicks them out of the store with Cassie still shouting as she leaves.


After leaving Barnett Mercantile, Cassie accidentally bumps into Lillian Jean Simms on the sidewalk. Lillian Jean orders her to apologize, then to get down on the road. Cassie tries to run, but is pushed onto the road by Mr. Charlie Simms, Lillian Jean's father, who proceeds to order her to apologize to Lillian Jean again, calling her "Miz" before she can leave with Big Ma, tears streaming down her cheeks.


When they get back home, they find that their Uncle Hammer Logan from Chicago, Illinois, is visiting them, in a shiny silver Packard that looks much like Mr. Granger's. Cassie tells him what has happened to her that day and Hammer speeds away with Mr. Morrison, ready to take revenge, but the next day she finds Hammer still alive and well. Before heading to church, Hammer gives Stacey an early Christmas present, a new wool coat for the winter season. But when they arrive by car, T.J. cruelly teases him. For other uses, see Chicago (disambiguation). ... Official language(s) English[1] Capital Springfield Largest city Chicago Largest metro area Chicago Metropolitan Area Area  Ranked 25th  - Total 57,918 sq mi (140,998 km²)  - Width 210 miles (340 km)  - Length 390 miles (629 km)  - % water 4. ... For people named Packard, see Packard (surname). ...


Papa comes home just in time for Christmas, and is staying home until spring. On Christmas night, Jeremy comes over to the Logans' and gives them some nuts for the whole family and a hand-made flute for Stacey. Papa warns Stacey to be careful about being friends with Jeremy, saying that eventually he will change, because the Simms are racist, and Jeremy might very well start to be prejudiced against blacks. The next day, Papa calls the children into the barn and whips them for visiting the Wallace Store. For other uses, see Christmas (disambiguation). ... African Americans, also known as Afro-Americans or black Americans, are an ethnic group in the United States of America whose ancestors, usually in predominant part, were indigenous to Sub-Saharan and West Africa. ...


Time passes and Papa starts to lead the boycott against the store. Mr. Jamison visits and Big Ma signs papers giving the land to Papa and Hammer. He also warns them to be careful, though, as they could lose their land if they continue their boycott. Mr. Granger comes over, and asks for the land again, but Papa refuses. Hammer then returns to Chicago and Papa continues to lead the boycott. Look up Boycott in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Look up Boycott in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Then Cassie makes peace with Lillian Jean and becomes her friend and servant by carrying her books. However, it is all a sneaky setup: Cassie then attacks Lillian Jean after gaining her trust and makes her apologize for what happened back in Strawberry. She then threatens to expose secrets that Lillian Jean has told her if she tells anyone what Cassie has done to her.


Then, T.J. tells Mr. Wallace about Mrs. Logan and how she doesn't teach her class from the county-issued textbook because she believes it contains biased information, and even tells about the boycott. Mr. Granger, as a member of the school board, then fires Mrs. Logan. Stacey blames T.J. for this, though he untruthfully denies it. After all of his friends shun him, he begins to associate with Melvin and R.W. Simms, brothers of the Logans' friend Jeremy. For other senses of this word, see bias (disambiguation). ...


School ends in March, and Papa, Mr. Morrison, and Stacey go up to Vicksburg again. On their way back, they are ambushed and brutally attacked by Mr. Wallace and his two brothers. Papa is shot in the head by a shotgun shell, and the wagon they were riding in runs over his leg after he falls off it in shock. He survives the bullet, though he bleeds very badly, and has a broken leg. Mr. Morrison takes him home after breaking an arm and then the backs of two of the Wallace brothers. The historic Mississippi River Commission Building in Vicksburg, constructed in 1894 Vicksburg is a city in Warren County, Mississippi. ...


While delivering tools to some of their friends the next day, Mr. Wallace stops the Logans, but Mr. Morrison picks up the Wallaces' truck and moves it to the side of the road. While church goes on during the week, the nearby bank forecloses the mortgage on the last two hundred acres (0.8 km²) of the Logans' land, but Uncle Hammer gives them money to pay it by selling his expensive Packard. On the last day of the church revival celebration, T.J. goes with R.W. and Melvin to the nearby mercantile, which is closed when they arrive. He then sneaks in and opens the door to the stock cover where R.W. steals a pearl-handled pistol and gives it to T.J. Then, he and Melvin rob the store's cash box. The store owner (Mr. Barnett) finds them and one of them fights for the money. R.W. hits him with the flat end of an axe, causing him to die afterward, and the owner's wife is knocked unconscious after being slapped and hitting her head on a metal stove. T.J. tries to flee, but R.W. and Melvin beat him up for threatening to tell on them, and then drive to the pool hall. T.J. manages to get home, but goes to the Logans' and asks for the children's help first. For people named Packard, see Packard (surname). ...


When T.J. gets home, the night men come over and drag his entire family out of their house. The Logans are able to hide in some nearby bushes, watching in horror. Jamison and the sheriff stop the night men, but Mr. Wallace threatens to take T.J. down to the Logans' and lynch him there, as Mr. Granger doesn't allow lynchings on his land. Stacey tells his sister and brothers to go get Mr. Logan and Mr. Morrison to help them, which they do. Papa and Mr. Morrison grab their shotguns and start to rush off to stop the lynching, but Mrs. Logan stops them, and Papa says he has "an idea". After a while, a spark sets the Logans' cotton on fire, and after being put out by all the people of the county, even the night men, who then stop the lynching to keep the fire from heading toward the forest. Manifestations Slavery Racial profiling Lynching Hate speech Hate crime Genocide (examples) Ethnocide Ethnic cleansing Pogrom Race war Religious persecution Gay bashing Blood libel Paternalism Police brutality Movements Policies Discriminatory Race / Religion / Sex segregation Apartheid Redlining Internment Anti-discriminatory Emancipation Civil rights Desegregation Integration Equal opportunity Counter-discriminatory Affirmative action Racial... Manifestations Slavery Racial profiling Lynching Hate speech Hate crime Genocide (examples) Ethnocide Ethnic cleansing Pogrom Race war Religious persecution Gay bashing Blood libel Paternalism Police brutality Movements Policies Discriminatory Race / Religion / Sex segregation Apartheid Redlining Internment Anti-discriminatory Emancipation Civil rights Desegregation Integration Equal opportunity Counter-discriminatory Affirmative action Racial...


Later, the children learn that it was Papa who burned the cotton to stop the lynching, and that they have lost a quarter of their cotton. Afterward, Mr. Jamison tells them to keep this quiet, and also tells them that T.J. is safe in Strawberry in the sheriff's custody, but he could die for Jim Lee Barnett's death.

Major Themes

The Importance of Family

The importance of family is prevalent throughout Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. Cassie is shocked when Jeremy says that he doesn't like his siblings, which shows how she firmly believes in the high value of family ties. In addition, Big Ma constantly talks about how proud she is of her late husband, Paul Edward, and Mr. Morrison is willing to risk his life for the Logans, who had become his "new family". Characters such as T.J., however, who abandon their family ties, are constantly lost, and often can cause him to make decisions other than that of Papa, who loves his family, and gets due respect in return. [2]


Hope in the Face of Destruction

Many troublesome situations befall certain characters in the novel that it seems are impossible to overcome, and yet Taylor's characters always make it through. For example, when Uncle Hammer is forced to pay the bank, he sells his silver Packard, even though it was one of his cherished possessions. Also, when the fire in the cotton fields broke out, both black and white people work together to extinguish the flames, not thinking about their racial differences but instead about achieving a common goal. [2] Mildred Delois Taylor (born in Jackson, Mississippi on September 13, 1943) is an author famous for her children’s fiction stories. ... For other uses, see Cotton (disambiguation). ... Manifestations Slavery Racial profiling Lynching Hate speech Hate crime Genocide (examples) Ethnocide Ethnic cleansing Pogrom Race war Religious persecution Blood libel Paternalism Police brutality Movements Policies Discriminatory Race / Religion / Sex segregation Apartheid Redlining Internment Ethnocracy Anti-discriminatory Emancipation Civil rights Desegregation Integration Equal opportunity Counter-discriminatory Affirmative action Racial quota...


Coming of Age Through Experience of Pain

During Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, Cassie Logan comes of age by experiencing racism and its full extent in the South. For example, in the incident at Strawberry with Lillian Jean Simms, she learns that the world is not fair, and that you have to accept that fact. In addition, by seeing T.J. get threatened by the Night Men, she finds out that no matter what a persons age, racism can still affect them, in this case almost fatally. By her worries about losing the land that held her family together, she realized that nothing in life is secure, and that you have to do "what you gotta do", as put by Papa. [2] For other uses, see Coming of Age (disambiguation). ... Manifestations Slavery Racial profiling Lynching Hate speech Hate crime Genocide (examples) Ethnocide Ethnic cleansing Pogrom Race war Religious persecution Blood libel Paternalism Police brutality Movements Policies Discriminatory Race / Religion / Sex segregation Apartheid Redlining Internment Ethnocracy Anti-discriminatory Emancipation Civil rights Desegregation Integration Equal opportunity Counter-discriminatory Affirmative action Racial quota... The U.S. Southern states or The South, known during the American Civil War era as Dixie, is a distinctive region of the United States with its own unique historical perspective, customs, musical styles, and cuisine. ... Manifestations Slavery Racial profiling Lynching Hate speech Hate crime Genocide (examples) Ethnocide Ethnic cleansing Pogrom Race war Religious persecution Blood libel Paternalism Police brutality Movements Policies Discriminatory Race / Religion / Sex segregation Apartheid Redlining Internment Ethnocracy Anti-discriminatory Emancipation Civil rights Desegregation Integration Equal opportunity Counter-discriminatory Affirmative action Racial quota...


External links

  • GradeSaver study guide with background on Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

References

  1. ^ [1] Newbery Medal Winners from 1922 to Present
  2. ^ a b c GradeSaver.com Thematic Analysis
Preceded by
The Grey King
Newbery Medal recipient
1977
Succeeded by
Bridge to Terabithia
The Grey King is a book by Susan Cooper in The Dark Is Rising Sequence. ... The John Newbery Medal is a literary award given by the Association for Library Service to Children of the American Library Association (ALA) to the author of the outstanding American book for children. ... See also: 1976 in literature, other events of 1977, 1978 in literature, list of years in literature. ... For the 1985 film, see Bridge to Terabithia (1985 film). ...

  Results from FactBites:
 
BBC - h2g2 - 'Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry' by Mildred D Taylor (1283 words)
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry was written by Mildred D Taylor and was first published in 1976.
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry tells the story of a fl family, the Logans, and their life at a time when fls in Mississippi faced a lot of prejudice and discrimination.
Hearing that Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry is a story where the main character is a young girl might suggest to someone that the book is intended for young children.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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