During the chaotic climax of the Jim Crow era, african-americans struggled through their lives with the perils of discrimination and racism opposing them. The people would live on plantations and they would slowly pay their debt off the land they lived on by growing crops, their income would so solely go towards their mortgage of their land that they were forced to pay to their land owner. In the historical novel, Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry, Mildred D. Taylor, explores the theme of maltreatment through, segregation, humiliation, protest, and loyalty.
Great Faith Elementary and Secondary School and Jefferson Davis County School were divided arbitrarily from each other, which blatantly defined segregation. Great Faith was somewhat of a disappointment, “The Great Faith Elementary and Secondary School, one of the largest black schools in the county, was a dismal end to an hour’s journey” (10). The book describes Great Faith Elementary as a “Black” school also says it is a “dismal end” meaning no one was excited to go there, it was like a disappointment, I think that It is very unfair for the children at Great Faith elementary because they don’t get as many privileges.
This is because the county doesn’t provide enough support and money for the black schools, they only provide for the white schools, I think that is just cruel and they shouldn’t judge based on race or ethnicity. ” ‘But. Big Ma. ‘ Little Man protested. ‘ifn that ole bus driver would slow down, I wouldn’t get muddy! ‘ Then he frowned deeply and added, ‘Or ifn we had a bus like theirs. ‘” As the rainy season arrived the bus driver would splash the Logan children with mud getting them dirty everyday, I think that is very racist and the white people have to put themselves in the black people’s position.
If the county would provide for the black students at Great Faith then there wouldn’t be any controversy over a bus driver splashing kids with mud, I think the people who thought that whites are superior are so narrow-minded because it is just a concentration of a chemical called melanin which determines the color of your skin. As a result, The Logans will be tormented by white people for a large portion of their lives, until the time of Martin Luther King Ir, but until then they will have to bear the segregation. These characters are not only tormented on the way to school but, outside of school as well.
Cassie Logan finally gets to visit the town of Strawberry and it falls seriously short of her high expectations. She reflects, “no day in all my life had been as cruel as this one” (116). Cassie’s mind had really encountered a severe form of segregation that day,” “Y-you was helping us,’ I said, backing to the front of the counter again. ‘Well, you just get your little black self back over there and wait some more,’ he said in a low, tight voice” (111). This shows that Cassie never really had experienced waiting so long, Jim Lee Barnett waited on her just because of the color of her skin.
She really learned her place in the world but that really put her down because she learned how she is going to be treated and how people think they are better than her. Cassie ran into yet another obstacle that just lowers her overall self esteem,” ‘You can’t watch where you going, get in the road. May-be that way you won’t be bumping into decent white folks with your little nasty self” (114). Lillian Jean Simms thinks she is a lot better than Cassie because of her skin color, In Mississippi in 1933, it was commonplace for white people to judge black people because of their skin color.
Cassie argues that she isn’t nasty and refuses to get off the sidewalk, but Charlie Simms, Lillian Jean Simms’ father would beg to differ as he throws Cassie into the road with ease, and he doesn’t even bother that she is 9 years old and she is a minor. Cassie had an awful day in the market in the town of Strawberry and she describes it as the cruelest day in all of her life. Cassie wasn’t the only one to face this treachery, other characters also face racism and they deal with it in their own unique ways.
In this exciting novel, individual characters resist racism and discrimination with multiple effective methods that help them get by. Uncle Hammer is one primitive example of one character that really resists racism and discrimination,” ‘Charlie Simms knocked Cassie off the sidewalk in Strawberry and the child just told Hammer,’ said Big Ma in one breath, still holding on to Uncle Hammer’s arm. ‘Oh, Lord,’ Mama groaned. ‘Stacey, get Mr. Morrison. Quick, now! ‘ As Stacey sped from the room, Mama’s eyes darted to the shotgun over the bed, and she edged between it and Uncle Hammer.
Uncle Hammer was watching her and he said quietly, ‘Don’t worry. I ain’t gotta use David’s gun… I got my own. ‘” Uncle Hammer really dislikes the way that Charlie Simms treated Cassie, especially because he is an adult and he knocked a child off the road. Uncle Hammer wants to take action immediately and go to the Simms’ house with a gun with intentions to kill Charlie Simms. Mama wants to put the Wallaces out of business and wants Uncle Hammer to drive to Vicksburg to get the supplies needed for people not to shop at the Wallace store, “Hammer, you go to burning and we’ll have nothing,’ Mama retorted.
Ain’t gonna have nothing no way. ‘ replied Uncle Hammer. ‘You think by shopping up at Vicksburg you gonna drive them Wallaces out, then you got no idea of how things work down here. You forgetting Harlan Granger backs that store! ‘” Mama came up with the idea to drive the Wallaces out of business and Uncle Hammer is going to pursue it. It really shows how they would drive all the way to Vicksburg to get treated better when shopping for good. These two characters really show how they could evade and even stop the racial discrimination that is bothering them.
On the other side, Harlan Granger, one of the least influential but most effective people in the book, torments all the black people living in the vicinity of his land. Mr Granger does not “get his hands dirty,” but he does as much damage to the community as the Ku Klux Klan. Mr. Granger is somewhat like a anonymous dictator, he prays on people but, he doesn’t do it. He has people do it for him, “Mr. Granger sent word by me that he ain’t gonna stand for no hanging on his place. He say y’all touch one hair on that boy’s head while he on this land, he’s gonna hold every man here responsible. ” (167).
In this quote, Mr. Granger will not stand for a “niger” hanging or being killed on his land, he won’t get his hands dirty so he has people do it for him somewhere else. This really shows how he can get away with such cruel and disgusting acts that he performs in the KKK. Mr. Granger really wants no one to know about his business, ” ‘Dry as that timber is, a fire catch hold it won’t stop burning for a week. Give that boy to Wade like he wants and get on up there” (170). This really shows how Mr. Granger wants to stay anonymous and how he gets people to do things for him.
He just gives orders and they are carried out with no hesitation. As a result, Mr. Granger has a menacing amount of power that can’t be stopped, like a monarch, they never protect their kingdom but instead, give orders that control the whole scenario. The author wanted us to understand the hardships that the african-american characters go through. In order to stop racism we must put our differences aside and not anguish based on our race or ethnicity. We are capable of doing this, and it would be a much brighter future if this could become a reality.