Even though President Lincoln wrote the Emancipation Proclamation to free the slaves, the white people showed their power over the black people through sharecropping, which is known as another form of slavery. In the book Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry, written by Mildred D. Taylor, Cassie Logan, a nineyear old black girl, starts to learn about the racial segregation during the 1930’s, in Mississippi, the former slave state. Unlike most of the black families who sharecropped, the Logan’s had their own plot of land. She, Stacey, her brother, and their parents struggled because of the white families.
For the Logan’s, the fight against the white people is probably enough, but T. J. , Stacey’s friend, builds on top of their troubles. Various characters are affected by the conflicts between the white and black society in many ways. Throughout the story, Cassie is affected emotionally more and more by the events she experiences. In the beginning of the story, Cassie is tough and stubborn, but as she learns more about racial segregation, she changes. Before, she had barely ever cried. However, the day after the night men visited, Cassie almost cried because of her fear (Taylor 61).
Later in the book, when T. J. was taken to jail, she cried for him and her family’s land (234). Her emotions are already affected by many happenings. Some other events that hurt her feelings were the incidents in Strawberry, a small nearby town. At first, she tries to politely intervene Mr. Barnett when he doesn’t fulfill their orders, but then he yelled, “Whose little nigger is this! ” (Taylor 95). This statement humiliated Cassie and she was kicked out of his store. While walking on a sidewalk, she bumped into Lillian Jean. When Mr. Simms came, he demanded Cassie to apologize with the title ‘Miss Lillian Jean’, as a show of respect (97).
When Big Ma comes, she makes Cassie apologize (98). Cassie becomes confused and humiliated, especially with Big Ma making her apologize. Through her change, one lesson she shows is that there are some events that you just have to accept and that you cannot pick up the pieces for everything. Cassie dealt with apologizing to Lillian Jean by beating her up in the forest. However, she cannot take revenge or do anything for T. J. and their cotton crops. Since she can’t deal with the loss in anyway, she just cries to deal with it by herself.
The change in Cassie’s feelings clearly proves that she changed because of all the events she went through. Although Cassie eventually changes throughout the book, T. J. Avery changes by only one event. T. ). was lazy and not motivated. When T. J. decided to cheat on his test he shows that he will do things that will benefit him without doing much work. T. J. being careless has lead him to make wrong decisions. As he grew so angry about failing his test, he ran to the Wallace store and said that Mrs. Logan failed him on purpose and that the Logans are the ones who started the boycott.
Because of T. J. , Mr. Granger comes to school to examine her lesson of slavery and ends up telling Mr. Wellever, the principle, to fire her. Even though Mr. Granger fired her because of the boycott, they just said that the school board fired her because she was teaching the reality of slavery, not the information that was in the textbook. When the Logan children find this out, they end their friendship with T. J. , so he decides that he will befriend the Simms brothers, R. W. and Melvin, who happen to be white. When the Simms brothers hang out with T. J. verything seems fine, but once T. J. is gone, they mock at him. This shows the Simms brothers do not see T. J. as a real friend. One day, the three boys decide to steal the pearl-handled pistol.
Before, when T. J. went to Strawberry with the Logans, he stated, “I’d sell my life for that gun” (Taylor 92). Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened. While they stole the pistol, they were caught by Mr. Barnett, the shop owner, so they hit Mr. Barnett with their axe. After they escape, T. J. just wanted to leave while the Simms brothers wanted to finish the business. T. J. till refused, so the brothers beat him up severely. Eventually, he was able to reach the Logan’s house, so he asked Stacey for help to go with him to his house. Stacey thought about it and finally decided he would help. T. J. is found by a group of white people and is accused of killing Mr. Barnett and stealing the pistol while R. W. and Melvin are left alone.
The difference between Stacey and the Simms brothers showed that you should be careful with who you become friends with, but also that true friends are friends that are always there for you. Even though the friendship among T. J. nd the Logan siblings was over, Stacey still decided to help T. J. When T. J. was caught, the two Simms brothers did nothing to help him. Eventually, T. J. was sent to jail, and that punishment was frightening enough for T. J. to learn his true friend was Stacey. Stacey already knows a lot about the power the white people have over the black people, but though some events, he realizes that they have more control than he thought. As the oldest of the Logan siblings, Stacey is pretty mature and he has the most knowledge. He also tries to understand people the best as he can and he is forgiving.
Mrs. Logan whipped Stacey because she saw him with a cheat note, which was actually T. J. ‘s. He passed it when he saw Mrs. Logan coming. Stacey did not blame about T. J. in front of the teacher. Even though Stacey fought with T. J. at the Wallace Store, he tried to understand that T. J. was taking Mama’s class again and that he really wanted to pass her test. Also, he made a decision to tell Mama that he went to the Wallace store and fought T. ). He owned up to his problems, which shows he was honest. Even when he confessed to Mama, he still did not tell her that the note was T. J. ‘s.
However, there are a few times he proved he was not fully mature yet. One day, Mr. Lanier and Mr. Avery came to the Logans to say that they do not want to shop at Vicksburg because Mr. Avery was threatened to be kicked off of the land by his landowner, Mr. Granger. After the men left, Stacey insisted that people should not be able to stop the boycott. Then, Papa says Mr. Avery and Mr. Lanier are doing what they need to do. The lesson from their conversation was that you should do anything that would keep your family safe and that you also need to understand the situations of other people.
The two men have tried their best, but their land is much more important than the boycott. He also learns more about how much control the white people have over the black people. Even though the white people cannot do anything with the Logans and their, they have a way to take control over the black community. Through Papa’s lecture, Stacey becomes more understanding and mature. Clearly, the struggles between the white and black society changed Stacey, T. ). , and Cassie in various ways. Cassie always did what she thought was right not knowing that some of her actions were dangerous.
Through all the events, Cassie learns that she is the one that will need to resolve all the situations she experiences for herself and that she should take the most beneficial action. Like Cassie, T. J. hung out with white folks because he thought they were more favorable and helpful than the black friends since the white had money. After he was betrayed and beaten, he found out he should have known the danger of getting along with the Simms brothers and also learned that a true friend always stands by you.
Stacey learned that even though you state your opinion, it should consider the situation of others. All in all, you should be careful with your decisions, and you should know that you do not have control over everything. Cassie finds out she should make the most advantageous decisions, and she should be responsible with her decisions. T. J. learns he should judge which person was the more favorable friend more carefully. Stacey realizes he should put his survival in front of any resolutions he makes.