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Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry


by Mildred D. Taylor

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry Race Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph)

Quote #1

In the very center of the expansive front lawn, waving red, white, and blue with the emblem of the Confederacy emblazoned in its upper left-hand corner, was the Mississippi flag. Directly below it was the American flag. As Jeremy and his sister and brothers hurried toward those transposed flags, we turned eastward toward our own school. (1.89)

Taylor pulls the old switcheroo here. When we see "waving red, white and blue," we naturally think of the American Flag. But, no—we are slapped in the face with the image of the Confederate flag (and believe us, a lot of fabric goes into making a flag, so it's a pretty big slap). So, what's up with this? Taylor mentions that the flags are "transposed," which means to "change the position or order of (two things)." We expect the American flag to be higher, so the symbolism is pretty clear: the values of the Confederacy (inequality for African-Americans, basically) take precedence over the American values of equality and justice for all.

Quote #2

[W]e consequently found ourselves comical objects to cruel eyes that gave no thought to our misery. (3.4)

It's all just fun and games to the white kids on the school bus, as they see the Logans and their friends splashed by mud day in and day out. They see the African-Americans as something less than human.

Quote #3

But as we passed one of the counters, I spied Mr. Barnett wrapping an order of pork chops for a white girl. Adults were one thing; I could almost understand that. They ruled things and there was nothing that could be done about them. But some kid who was no bigger than me was something else again. Certainly Mr. Barnett had simply forgotten about T.J.'s order. I decided to remind him and, without saying anything to Stacey, I turned around and marched over to Mr. Barnett. (5.55)

Why do you think Cassie "could almost understand" Mr. Barnett serving a white adult before a black child? What is the major insight she has when she notices that Mr. Barnett serves a white child before black customers who were there first?

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