Study Guide

Susan Byrd in Song of Solomon

By Toni Morrison

Susan Byrd

Susan Byrd and Milkman are related through Heddy. She lives in a crumbling house in the Blue Ridge Mountains, near Shalimar, and Milkman visits her twice. During the first visit, Susan is reluctant to give Milkman any information about his family tree, because her friend, Grace Long, is present. During the second visit, Susan is much more willing to converse with her cousin, and tells him about the legend of Solomon’s Leap. She is ashamed of her heritage and is ashamed of being linked with Milkman, but she also provides essential clues and information about his family. Susan is also the first one to discuss the negative aspects of Solomon’s flight: how this flight devastated Ryna, and how her despair was most likely due to the fact that she had to raise so many children on her own.