Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
by Mildred D. Taylor
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry Chapter 6 Summary
- When they get home, Stacey tells Cassie to not blame Big Ma for making her apologize. There are some things that Cassie just doesn't understand.
- On their way into the house, they see Mr. Granger's car in their barn. How weird. And a little scary.
- But no! It's actually great news, because Uncle Hammer has come for a visit. The car in the barn is Uncle Hammer's. Plus, it's better than Mr. Granger's, because it's a newer Packard.
- Uncle Hammer asks Cassie about her first trip to Strawberry, but when she starts to tell him about it, Big Ma sends Cassie into the kitchen to get dinner.
- For some reason, Big Ma doesn't like the idea of Uncle Hammer finding out what happened with Mr. Simms.
- Mama tells Cassie that she (Mama) will get dinner, and that Cassie should stay and tell Uncle Hammer about the trip.
- So, Cassie tells him about Mr. Barnett helping others before T.J., and how she told Mr. Barnett that this wasn't right.
- Uncle Hammer seems amused by this, while Big Ma (who has not yet heard this) is quite less-than-amused.
- When Cassie starts to tell him about the incident with Lillian Jean and her dad, Big Ma again tries to interrupt.
- It's no use, though, and Cassie tells the whole story.
- Now, it starts to make sense why Big Ma did not want Uncle Hammer to know about how Mr. Simms manhandled Cassie in the street.
- Uncle Hammer gets really mad.
- And, he apparently has a gun.
- Time to call in the big guns: Mr. Morrison.
- Still angry, Uncle Hammer hops into the Packard with Mr. Morrison, and they roar away.
- Christopher-John is confident that Mr. Morrison will talk some sense into their uncle, but Little Man and Cassie hope their Uncle will knock some sense into Mr. Simms.
- When Cassie goes to bed, Mama comes in for a little mother-daughter heart-to-heart. She tells Cassie that Big Ma just didn't want to see Cassie get hurt.
- But Cassie doesn't understand why Mr. Simms thinks Lillian Jean is better than she is.
- Another Big Life Lesson Alert: Mama tells Cassie that, "Everybody born on this earth is something and nobody, no matter what color, is better than anybody else" (6.85).
- She explains why the white people think they're better than the black people: to make themselves feel big.
- Mama tells Cassie about how slaves were regarded as less than human, and how some Christian beliefs even supported this view.
- Even though the Civil War ended slavery, some people still believe that black people are lesser than white people.
- And people like Mr. Simms hold even more strongly onto these beliefs because they don't really have anything else to hold onto.
- The clicking sound you just heard is everything falling into place for Cassie.
- This whole situation—the Logans' lot in life—has been created just because some white people think they're better than black people, all because of their skin color. Talk about a wake-up call.
- Mama tells Cassie that the respect she was forced to give Lillian Jean really wasn't respect at all. True respect is freely given.
- The next morning, Uncle Hammer and Mr. Morrison are eating breakfast. So, all is well and nothing appears to have happened the previous night.
- Here's exciting news: Uncle Hammer is driving everyone to church in his new car.
- Cassie asks her mom to fix her a "grown-up hairdo" for church (6.105).
- Cassie wants her hair fixed like Mama's, but Mama tells her that's still a few years off yet.
- It turns out that Mr. Morrison talked to Uncle Hammer all night long, and kept him from doing anything rash to Mr. Simms.
- Cassie's a little disappointed. Stacey tells her that she had better be glad that Uncle Hammer didn't do anything, since it might have gotten him killed.
- It seems like Cassie still doesn't really understand the seriousness of the situation.
- Before they go to church, Uncle Hammer notices that Stacey's coat is too small. Early Christmas present time! Yep, it's a new wool coat.
- The family all get into Uncle Hammer's sleek car and head off to church, where T.J. makes fun of the coat, saying it makes Stacey look like a "fat preacher" (6.147).
- Jelly, much?
- After church, Uncle Hammer takes the family for a ride up to Strawberry and back.
- When they drive past the Wallace store, Uncle Hammer makes an idle threat to burn the place down.
- At the bridge crossing, another car is trying to cross (the bridge is so narrow that only one car at a time can pass).
- It's clear that since a white family is driving in the other car, Uncle Hammer is supposed to give way, but instead he guns it and speeds over the bridge first.
- Big Ma points out that the family will think the car belongs to Mr. Granger.
- Well, until they see him on the other side. And it's the Wallaces. Oops. Mama ends the chapter with an ominous prediction: "But one day we'll have to pay for it" (6.170).
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