Study Guide

One Crazy Summer Chapter 20

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Chapter 20

Rally for Bobby

  • Delphine finally learns who Li'l Bobby is.
  • Bobby Hutton was one of the first Black Panthers, and he was only seventeen when he died in a shoot-out with the police.
  • The story of his death made it to the news in Brooklyn. The police ambushed the Panthers who fled into a house for shelter, firing at the house; the Panthers shot back.
  • Li'l Boby came out to surrender, even getting undressed to prove he wasn't armed. But the police shot him anyway.
  • The story makes Delphine angry that things like this can happen. It doesn't seem fair to her.
  • Plus she's afraid that it could happen while she's at the People's Center hanging around the Black Panthers.
  • She's so busy thinking about how they might be safer just staying in the green stucco house with Cecile that she barely hears that there's going to be rally for Huey Newton and in memory of Bobby Hutton in just two weeks.
  • They're going to change the name of a park to honor Bobby. There's a lot of preparing to do.
  • Delphine sticks her hand right up and announces that she and her sisters can't go to a rally that could turn into an attack or a riot.
  • Her sisters, of course, have something else to say about the matter—they want to go.
  • After all, Fern and Vonetta want to be a part of the revolution. Or maybe they just have a case of not wanting to be left out.
  • And the death knell for Delphine's protest of the protest?
  • The children have been asked to perform. That's enough to get Vonetta and Fern there with bells on.
  • All the kids start planning their contribution to the special performance, and Fern and Vonetta decide on singing a song.
  • They suggest the La-la-la song (you remember the one, from when Fern was sad before?), but Delphine really doesn't like that idea.
  • That's their song, the one that's just for them—it's about a mother leaving her child, after all—but the youngsters are hopeful that this performance will be the thing that shows Cecile how great they are.
  • Delphine is doubtful, and says so, too.
  • A little later, Sister Mukumbu takes Delphine aside to ask what's wrong.
  • When she hears about Delphine concern for safety, she's responsive, but also says how important the cause is. Unity is the most important thing right now.
  • Delphine doesn't like that answer.

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