66 pages 2 hours read

Honorée Fanonne Jeffers

The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2021

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Song 5 and Part 7Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Song 5 Summary

This section begins with Samuel Pinchard’s childhood. As a boy, Samuel endures regular sexual abuse at the hands of his father. As soon as his father dies, he runs away, depending on his charm and good looks to secure occasional lodging. He eventually realizes that his only sexual attraction is to young girls and begins regularly raping one particular enslaved girl. When she “turn[s] limp in his hands” one day (408), he leaves her for dead and moves to a new location.

Samuel soon gets work on Ezekiel Waterford’s rice plantation. Samuel puts up with Ezekiel’s sexual advances and plays along, performing sex acts despite his physical repulsion in order to learn about the business and ingratiate himself with someone powerful. His scheme pays off when Ezekiel helps him enter a land lottery, which he wins. On the way to his new property, he runs into a family headed by a man named Aidan Franklin, who has similarly acquired some land. When Samuel arrives at his land, he finds Micco’s family on it. Rather than immediately turning them out, however, he decides to lure them into complacency and then take over the farm.

Meanwhile, Aidan builds his family’s cabin on an Indigenous American burial mound against Samuel’s advice.

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