Study Guide

Tar Beach Admiration

By Faith Ringgold


Be Be, my baby brother, lying real still on the mattress, just like I told him to, his eyes like huge floodlights tracking me through the sky. (4)

Do you have a big brother or sister? If so, maybe you can relate to how much Be Be looks up to Cassie.

Lying on the roof in the night, with stars and skyscraper buildings all around me, made me feel rich, like I owned all that I could see. (5)

Cassie seems to admire beauty in the world much more than material things.

The bridge was my most prized possession. (6)

Why do you think the bridge is so precious to Cassie?

Daddy said that the George Washington Bridge is the longest and most beautiful bridge in the world and that it opened in 1931, on the very day I was born. (7)

Here's a fun fact: when the George Washington Bridge opened, everyone admired it. The design was unique—and it really was the longest bridge in the world.

Daddy worked on that bridge, hoisting cables. Since then, I've wanted the bridge to be mine. (8)

Cassie loves the bridge because she's proud of her father's work. Mystery solved.

He can walk on steel girders high up in the sky and not fall. They call him the Cat. (12)

Cassie's pride for her father is clear when she talks about what a good worker he is.

Then it won't matter that he's not in their old union, or whether he's colored or a half-breed Indian, like they say. (14)

The union should admire Cassie's father for being such a good worker. Instead it sounds like they treat him like dirt.

He'll be rich and won't have to stand on a 24-story-high girders and look down. (15)

Cassie wants the whole world to admire her father as much as she does.

And Mommy can laugh and sleep late like Mrs. Honey […] (17)

There's a little hint here that Cassie admires the neighbors. She wants her mom to have a good life like Mrs. Honey.

I'll take Be Be with me. He has threatened to tell Mommy and Daddy if I leave him behind. (23)

Finally, Be Be's hanging with his big sister. He's living the dream.