Derek Vinyard Main Protagonist Neo-nazi white supremacist Revered brother of Danny
Racially influenced by his father Murders 2 African Americans & gets sent to prison for 3 years for voluntary manslaughter Changes his attitude towards African Americans and racial hatred whilst in prison
Danny Vinyard Younger brother of Derek Is recruited into the neo-nazi white supremacist group controlled by Cameron Alexander while Derek is in prison
Is in trouble at school for submitting a paper claiming that Hitler was a hero Confronts a young African American boy at school who later murders Danny in a bloody shooting
Dr. Bob Sweeney Sweeney was once Derek’s English teacher – now Principal of Danny’s school He refuses to “give up” on Danny when Murray reports him to Sweeney
Derek begs Sweeney to help him after the rape in prison Sweeney confides in Derek that he used to hate white people as a youth, and he realized that racism is pointless Sweeney asserts that Derek has spent his life pursuing answers, and then asks: "Has anything you've done made your life better?“ This proves a turning point for Derek
Lamont Lamont emerges as Derek's only true friend in prison, and is part of the reason Derek stays alive as he uses what influence he has to stop the black prisoners from hurting Derek
A positive African American character who is the stimulus for Derek’s catharsis. He, with Sweeny, balances the stereotypes of African American characters in all films. He tells Derek that, “in here you is the nigger.”
Cameron Alexander A manipulative father figure for both Derek and Danny A political, white supremacist, self-serving idealist who revels in the control he has over the young
Controls the Neo-Nazi street gang, The D.O.C. (Disciples of Christ) and entices young whites to join. The gang commits acts of intimidation, such as damaging a store owned by a Korean and challenging black players to basketball games to win the court as turf.
Murray A teacher who represents the liberal community with his views He is not ready to accept that people can change and is an example of how so called liberal minded people can have closed minds
Murray (Danny's history teacher) reports Danny to the now principal Dr. Sweeney on account of Danny's history paper on Mein Kampf, Hitler's autobiographyMein Kampf Murray also has “romantic” ideas about Doris Vinyard, Derek & Danny’s mother Murray is Jewish
Seth Ryan Derek's neo-Nazi friend He helps to keep Danny’s white supremacist, racial hatred inflamed during the 3 years that Derek is in prison
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