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Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry By Mildred D. Taylor PowerPoint by: Arlene Acevedo-Davis.

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1 Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry By Mildred D. Taylor PowerPoint by: Arlene Acevedo-Davis

2 The First Day of School The excitement Little Man feels toward his first day of school quickly disappears upon receiving his textbook. Realizing that the textbooks are ten years old, hand-me downs from the white school and specifies his race as nigra infuriates him. As Cassie attempts to explain Little Man’s actions to Miss Crocker, it is made clear that the children are expected to remain “in their place” and not contradict higher authority. Unfortunately, Little Man’s experience at school introduces him to racism and the reality that not all blacks will stand up to injustices they face. The excitement Little Man feels toward his first day of school quickly disappears upon receiving his textbook. Realizing that the textbooks are ten years old, hand-me downs from the white school and specifies his race as nigra infuriates him. As Cassie attempts to explain Little Man’s actions to Miss Crocker, it is made clear that the children are expected to remain “in their place” and not contradict higher authority. Unfortunately, Little Man’s experience at school introduces him to racism and the reality that not all blacks will stand up to injustices they face. Cassie explains to Miss Crocker “See, Miz Crocker, see what it says. They give us these ole books when they didn’t want them no more. He can’t read all them big words, but he can read them columns. See what’s in the last row, Please look, Miz Crocker. S-see what they called us.” (p.26) Cassie explains to Miss Crocker “See, Miz Crocker, see what it says. They give us these ole books when they didn’t want them no more. He can’t read all them big words, but he can read them columns. See what’s in the last row, Please look, Miz Crocker. S-see what they called us.” (p.26) Miss Crocker responds to Cassie “That’s what you are, Now go sit down.” (p.26) Miss Crocker responds to Cassie “That’s what you are, Now go sit down.” (p.26)

3 The Road Block An obstacle faced by many of the black students en route to school was Mr. Grimes and his school bus. Cassie and the other children were often run off the dirt road by Mr. Grimes, while he and the white students laughed at them running for safety. Stacey and the children decided to take matters into their own hands and develop a plan to “wash out” the dirt road. This was their attempt to retaliate against the dangerous behavior they encountered on their way to school. Although their goal was to obstruct the dirt road, an unexpected large rainfall, magnified the size of the hole in the road. Had injuries occurred as a result of their actions, and foul play suspected, this could have brought harm to the black community and/or worse the Logan family itself. An obstacle faced by many of the black students en route to school was Mr. Grimes and his school bus. Cassie and the other children were often run off the dirt road by Mr. Grimes, while he and the white students laughed at them running for safety. Stacey and the children decided to take matters into their own hands and develop a plan to “wash out” the dirt road. This was their attempt to retaliate against the dangerous behavior they encountered on their way to school. Although their goal was to obstruct the dirt road, an unexpected large rainfall, magnified the size of the hole in the road. Had injuries occurred as a result of their actions, and foul play suspected, this could have brought harm to the black community and/or worse the Logan family itself.

4 The Night Men The visit by the night men put everyone at the Logan home on edge. Since their appearance occurred shortly after the Logan children “washed out” the road, they thought the night men were coming for them. Overcome by guilt the children considered confessing their actions. The sight of the night men terrified the children into not saying a word about the roadblock. However, it intensified their fear and the possibility of harm coming to their family. The visit by the night men put everyone at the Logan home on edge. Since their appearance occurred shortly after the Logan children “washed out” the road, they thought the night men were coming for them. Overcome by guilt the children considered confessing their actions. The sight of the night men terrified the children into not saying a word about the roadblock. However, it intensified their fear and the possibility of harm coming to their family. Cassie thought to herself “But soon, against my will, the vision of ghostly headlights soaked into my mind and an uncontrollable trembling racked my body.” (p. 68) Cassie thought to herself “But soon, against my will, the vision of ghostly headlights soaked into my mind and an uncontrollable trembling racked my body.” (p. 68) The adults on the other hand, saw the visit by the night men as their attempt to impose their power over the black community. The adults on the other hand, saw the visit by the night men as their attempt to impose their power over the black community. Mr. Avery stated “ But y’all knows how they is. Anytime they thinks we steppin’ outa our place, they feels like they gotta stop us. You know what some of ‘em done to the Berrys. It don’t take but a little of nothin’ to set them devilish night men off.” (p. 62) Mr. Avery stated “ But y’all knows how they is. Anytime they thinks we steppin’ outa our place, they feels like they gotta stop us. You know what some of ‘em done to the Berrys. It don’t take but a little of nothin’ to set them devilish night men off.” (p. 62)

5 Trip to Strawberry Cassie’s trip to Strawberry proved to be a life altering experience. Although she had encountered some racism in other aspects of her life, none were as blatant as what she suffered in Strawberry. Her youthful ignorance to the ingrained prejudice held by many whites led to many problems in this town. Her experience in the General Store and with Lillian Jean could have developed into a very dangerous situation not only for Cassie but also her companions. This scene provides a coming of age experience which enlightens Cassie to the complex social relationships between blacks and whites during this time period. Cassie is now aware of the views shared by many whites against blacks, and how she is “expected” to behave in public. Cassie’s trip to Strawberry proved to be a life altering experience. Although she had encountered some racism in other aspects of her life, none were as blatant as what she suffered in Strawberry. Her youthful ignorance to the ingrained prejudice held by many whites led to many problems in this town. Her experience in the General Store and with Lillian Jean could have developed into a very dangerous situation not only for Cassie but also her companions. This scene provides a coming of age experience which enlightens Cassie to the complex social relationships between blacks and whites during this time period. Cassie is now aware of the views shared by many whites against blacks, and how she is “expected” to behave in public. Once home, Mary explained to her “Baby, you had to grow up a little today. I wish…well, no matter what I wish. It happened and you have to accept the fact that in the world outside this house, things are not always as we would have them to be.” (p. 126) “Baby, we have no choice of what color we’re born or who our parents are or whether we’re rich or poor. What we do have is some choice over what we make of our lives once we’re here. And I pray to God you’ll make the best of yours.” (p.129) Once home, Mary explained to her “Baby, you had to grow up a little today. I wish…well, no matter what I wish. It happened and you have to accept the fact that in the world outside this house, things are not always as we would have them to be.” (p. 126) “Baby, we have no choice of what color we’re born or who our parents are or whether we’re rich or poor. What we do have is some choice over what we make of our lives once we’re here. And I pray to God you’ll make the best of yours.” (p.129)

6 Cassie vs. Lillian Jean After her incident with Lillian Jean in Strawberry, Cassie devised a very well thought-out plan for revenge. Pretending to be Lillian Jean’s servant, Cassie gained access to all of Lillian Jean’s secrets. Cassie befriended her and allowed Lillian Jean to trust her. Once Cassie had enough ammunition to blackmail Lillian Jean, she decided to do what she wanted to do since their altercation in Strawberry. Knowing that Lillian would not tell anyone about the fight in order to prevent her deepest secrets from being exposed to everyone, Cassie was content. I think it was wise for Cassie to teach Lillian her lesson this way because she was able to stand up for herself without creating a harmful situation for herself and her family. After her incident with Lillian Jean in Strawberry, Cassie devised a very well thought-out plan for revenge. Pretending to be Lillian Jean’s servant, Cassie gained access to all of Lillian Jean’s secrets. Cassie befriended her and allowed Lillian Jean to trust her. Once Cassie had enough ammunition to blackmail Lillian Jean, she decided to do what she wanted to do since their altercation in Strawberry. Knowing that Lillian would not tell anyone about the fight in order to prevent her deepest secrets from being exposed to everyone, Cassie was content. I think it was wise for Cassie to teach Lillian her lesson this way because she was able to stand up for herself without creating a harmful situation for herself and her family.

7 Talking with Dad David explains to Cassie “You see that fig tree over yonder, Cassie? Them other trees all around … that oak and walnut, they’re a lot bigger and they take up more room and give so much shade they almost overshadow that little ole fig. But that fig tree’s got roots that run deep, and it belongs in that yard as much as that oak and walnut. It keeps on blooming, bearing good fruit year after year, knowing all the time it’ll never get as big as them other trees. Just keeps on growing and doing what it gotta do. It don’t give up. It give up, it’ll die. There’s a lesson to be learned from that little tree, Cassie girl, ‘cause we’re like it. We keep doing what we gotta, and we don’t give up. We can’t.” (p ) David explains to Cassie “You see that fig tree over yonder, Cassie? Them other trees all around … that oak and walnut, they’re a lot bigger and they take up more room and give so much shade they almost overshadow that little ole fig. But that fig tree’s got roots that run deep, and it belongs in that yard as much as that oak and walnut. It keeps on blooming, bearing good fruit year after year, knowing all the time it’ll never get as big as them other trees. Just keeps on growing and doing what it gotta do. It don’t give up. It give up, it’ll die. There’s a lesson to be learned from that little tree, Cassie girl, ‘cause we’re like it. We keep doing what we gotta, and we don’t give up. We can’t.” (p ) The comparison between the fig tree and the Logan family expresses their view about their right as people, and their place in society. The Logan’s have had a desire for a better life, and have made numerous attempts to achieve this. The comparison between the fig tree and the Logan family expresses their view about their right as people, and their place in society. The Logan’s have had a desire for a better life, and have made numerous attempts to achieve this. Cassie has always experienced love and support from her family. That is the core structure that defines her, keeps her grounded and allows for her advancement. As her father mentioned if she doesn’t stand up for herself and respect herself, no one else will. Cassie has always experienced love and support from her family. That is the core structure that defines her, keeps her grounded and allows for her advancement. As her father mentioned if she doesn’t stand up for herself and respect herself, no one else will.

8 The Night of the Fire Realizing that T.J. is in dire need of help, Stacy, Cassie, Christopher-John and Little man come to his rescue. Unfortunately, T.J.’s “friendship” with R.W. and Melvin has turned deadly. R.W. and Melvin never saw themselves as equals to T.J. Instead, they viewed themselves as superiors who had the authority to do as they pleased with him. This idea of superiority is a reoccurring theme used to empower whites. Knowing that the lives of innocent people, the Avery family, are in jeopardy, David resorts to drastic measures. Starting a fire on his property amidst a thunder storm provides just the distraction to save T.J. for the time being. Attempting to put out the fire, both blacks and whites began to work together side by side. Realizing that T.J. is in dire need of help, Stacy, Cassie, Christopher-John and Little man come to his rescue. Unfortunately, T.J.’s “friendship” with R.W. and Melvin has turned deadly. R.W. and Melvin never saw themselves as equals to T.J. Instead, they viewed themselves as superiors who had the authority to do as they pleased with him. This idea of superiority is a reoccurring theme used to empower whites. Knowing that the lives of innocent people, the Avery family, are in jeopardy, David resorts to drastic measures. Starting a fire on his property amidst a thunder storm provides just the distraction to save T.J. for the time being. Attempting to put out the fire, both blacks and whites began to work together side by side. Although Cassie has experienced racism first hand, I think she still holds an optimistic view for the future. She is aware that there are good and bad people both black and white. I feel Cassie views the difference in treatment between the races and unfair, and she is frightened about losing T.J. and their land. However, she knows that she can’t give up her desire for equality. Although Cassie has experienced racism first hand, I think she still holds an optimistic view for the future. She is aware that there are good and bad people both black and white. I feel Cassie views the difference in treatment between the races and unfair, and she is frightened about losing T.J. and their land. However, she knows that she can’t give up her desire for equality. What had happened to T.J. in the night I did not understand, but I knew it would not pass. And I cried for those things which had happened in the night and would not pass. I cried for T.J. For T.J. and the land. (p.276 ) What had happened to T.J. in the night I did not understand, but I knew it would not pass. And I cried for those things which had happened in the night and would not pass. I cried for T.J. For T.J. and the land. (p.276 )

9 Image Sources Flooded school bus: Flooded school bus: pictureqld.slq.qld.gov.au/home/features/big-wet Car headlights: Car headlights: White Only Sign: news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/ stm White Only Sign: news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/ stm news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/ stm Fig tree: Fig tree: tree.htm tree.htm Wild Fire: Wild Fire: Book cover: Book cover: All other images were found at Microsoft Office Online Clipart All other images were found at Microsoft Office Online Clipart


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