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The minor characters are many, both black and white, friend and foe, who the author encounters before his transformation from white to Negro, during his six weeks as a Negro and even after he returns as a white man to his hometown once again.
One minor character is the Negro shoeshine man, Sterling Williams. He is the authorís first contact within the Negro community and he takes him under his wing and teaches him how to shine shoes. There is a most moving moment when he discovers the golden hair on the authorís hands and directs him to a Negro toilet to shave his hands so that his white identity will not be revealed. Thus, saving the author from getting into a lot of trouble.
Another minor character is the white journalist East, who the author meets one lonely night in Mississippi. East publishes a small newspaper called, "The Petal Paper," for which he is persecuted for seeking justice for the Negroes. East welcomes Griffin home, even at great risk to his life and livelihood. He gives the author, to read, the manuscript of his remarkable autobiography called, "The Magnolia Jungle," which juxtaposes the humanity of his columns against a background of stark horror. It is a manuscript that the author cannot stop reading through the night.