64 pages 2 hours read

Mildred D. Taylor

Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry

Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 1976

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Important Quotes

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“Before us the narrow, sun-splotched road wound like a lazy red serpent dividing the high forest bank of quiet, old trees on the left from the cotton field, forested by giant green and purple stalks, on the right.”

(Chapter 1, Page 6)

Taylor describes the novel’s setting with vivid imagery. She juxtaposes the orderly cotton fields against the untamed forest, suggesting how the natural world contrasts with the social and economic systems implemented by humans in 1930’s Mississippi.

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“Everyone gasped, for most of the students had never handled a book at all besides the family Bible.” 

(Chapter 1, Page 21)

This quotation underscores the Christian religiosity of Cassie’s community. It also shows the scarcity of resources allocated to Black students in the rural South during the Great Depression.

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“Biting the hand that feeds you. That’s what you’re doing, Mary Logan, biting the hand that feeds you.

(Chapter 1, Page 30)

Cassie’s mother hides a page in the school textbooks because it shows that Black students only receive the books after their White counterparts have worn them out. A fellow Black teacher scolds her for altering the books. This situation reveals how members of the Black community learn not to risk challenging systemic White supremacy.