Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
August 17, 2019 6:40 AM - by Mildred D. Taylor - Subscribe

"Why is the land so important to Cassie's family? It takes the events of one turbulent year—the year of the night riders and the burnings, the year a white girl humiliates Cassie in public simply because she's black—to show Cassie that having a place of their own is the Logan family's lifeblood. It is the land that gives the Logans their courage and pride—no matter how others may degrade them, the Logans possess something no one can take away."

This is a book for the Nostalgic YA Book Club! Join us!
posted by ChuraChura (6 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
This is truly one of the greatest American novels, for any age. I read it every few years with my students and I always, always cry for TJ at the end. Every episode illustrates the brutality of the Jim Crow south and yet it’s not heavy handed, and the characters manage to be resilient and three-dimensional.
posted by mai at 3:38 PM on August 17, 2019 [4 favorites]

"I cried for T.J. For T.J. and the land." I'll never forget that ending.
posted by praemunire at 9:12 PM on August 17, 2019 [3 favorites]

We studied this in high school (Australia), and I still remember how affecting it was.
posted by daybeforetheday at 1:04 AM on August 19, 2019 [2 favorites]

This recent article (The Mississippi Delta's History of Black Land Theft) provides some useful background. (FPP here.)

I read this with my students during my brief stint teaching, and I wish I'd done a better job with it. Still, it did feel good to buy a whole classroom set!
posted by asperity at 9:12 AM on August 20, 2019 [1 favorite]

i had to hit the wikipedia summary to remember what book this was, but when i read it, it all came flooding back - that and "let the circle be unbroken." as a white kid in the 1980s reading these, i think these books were really formative in my understanding of racial injustice in the usa. i mean obviously it got a little bit more sophisticated as i grew older but i think reading these really helped seed some things deeply.
posted by entropone at 11:35 AM on August 20, 2019 [3 favorites]

This is the book I wished that we had read in school instead of To Kill a Mockingbird. It centres the black characters and shows Jim Crow and segregation from their point of view.
posted by jb at 11:56 AM on October 18, 2019 [1 favorite]

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