Study Guide

One Crazy Summer Chapter 7

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Chapter 7

For the People

  • The girls huddle against the door and try to listen in on what's going on. (Oh, come on—don't act like you've never done it.)
  • Delphine hears Cecile frantically cleaning up all traces of having visitors (a.k.a. her daughters) around, more proof in Delphine's mind that Cecile doesn't want her and her sisters there.
  • It's also further proof to Delphine that Cecile is a bit crazy; perhaps she's even hiding from someone.
  • The girls glimpse three people wearing all black and black berets.
  • They can't hear much, though, only tone of voice and a few words here and there.
  • But Delphine gets the sense that the three are pressuring Cecile into doing something "for the people." Doesn't sound like a bad thing, right? But then again, the pressure is intimidating.
  • The three say more about the people and Cecile counters with her art. These are, apparently, opposing viewpoints.
  • Delphine starts to recognize these people as Black Panthers. She knows that the Panthers work to provide services like food and clothing to the black community—but she also knows that they carry rifles and people are afraid of them.
  • Delphine notices that Cecile doesn't seem afraid, only annoyed that they want to use her materials and art for their purposes.
  • Then Delphine hears them call Cecile "INzila," like when the cab driver called her "Zilla" back at the airport. Turns out Cecile is a Panther, too, with another name.
  • The argument goes on, though we only get to hear what Delphine understands of it, which isn't everything.
  • She gets the gist, though, which is that the Black Panthers are pushing an agenda for their cause, and Cecile doesn't seem to want to give into them.
  • Finally she agrees, though, with one cryptic condition: that the Panthers have to take her kids. Whoa… what?
  • The girls chat about it and guess that maybe they want Cecile to write a poem, using her fancy materials, about or for the cause of the people.
  • Then they speculate that she's printing counterfeit money on a printing press in the kitchen, and that she bought the house with all that money. No wonder she wants them to steer clear of the kitchen.
  • Everything is really jittery until the word "pokey" comes into the conversation and the girls laugh. The tension is eased… for now.

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