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Free Study Guide-Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor-Free Notes
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CHAPTER 7

Summary

A few days later, Mama tells Stacey to get his new coat so she can take up the sleeves. He doesnít have it because he "loaned" it to T.J. who first teased him about its appearance and then offered to wear it until Stacey would grow into it. Mama tells him to go get it, but Hammer interrupts and says that T.J. can keep the coat permanently because at least he "knows a good thing when he sees it." Stacey tries to explain about being teased, but Hammer calls him a fool for letting T.J. trick him out of something that he should have kept. He gives Stacey a severe tongue lashing, telling him that if he goes around caring what a lot of useless people say about him, he will never get anywhere. For the last few days before Christmas, T.J. flaunts the coat at school, and Lillian Jean manages to give her superior smirks twice in one week.

Papa arrives home the night before Christmas. The family sits around the fire sharing stories and memories. Mr. Morrison tells the children about his own childhood. He was orphaned when night men attacked his home after his father had taken in two fugitives who had been falsely accused of molesting a white woman. His sisters as well as his parents had been killed in the blaze of their house, but his mother had thrown him as hard as she could to get him away from the fight and the danger.

After the children have gone to bed, the adults sit up discussing the land. Cassie wakes up to hear voices and listens at the door. Big Ma is talking about doing something with the land, and her parents are talking about getting people to shop in Vicksburg rather than patronizing Wallaceís store. Papa spots Cassie lurking in the shadow; she asks him if they are going to lose the land and Papa assures her that they will never lose the land.


On Christmas morning each Logan child receives a new book and a sock full of candy. They attend church service, and the Averys join them for dinner. During dinner, little Jeremy Simms pays a visit. He has a bag of nuts for Mama and a handmade flute for Stacey. T.J. goads Stacey about whether he is going to keep the flute, but Stacey doesnít allow himself to be tricked out of the gift. He doesnít understand why Jeremy brought them the gifts. Papa has no problem with Stacey and Jeremy being friends, but he warns him that when Jeremy grows up, he will think of himself as a man, and Stacey will still be a "boy" to him.

The day after Christmas, Mr. Jamison visits Big Ma and arranges a transfer of land ownership from her to David and Hammer. Before leaving, Jamison tells that he has heard of attempts to get credit in Vicksburg and offers to back the credit himself for those who wish to shop there. He does this to prevent David from putting his land up as collateral and ultimately losing it. In the following days, Hammer, Papa and Mama visit the houses of the families who said they would consider shopping in Vicksburg. Hammer and David make a two day trip to Vicksburg and return with a wagon-load of store bought goods.

Mr. Granger shows up shortly after the men return from Vicksburg. He makes a lot of thinly veiled threats about having to charge people more of their crops to make up for the lower price of cotton and of getting the Logan land. He says that the bank may call up the mortgage any day,

implying that he has a lot of pull in that area as well. He also questions Hammer about his ability to get the fancy car, indirectly accusing him of selling drugs for it. Hammer tells him that he has a manís job for a manís wages, and that he doesnít consider 50 cents a day (the price paid to anyone who works in the Granger fields) worthy of a childís labor, never mind a manís.

Notes

Big Ma catches Granger off guard when she tells him that the land now belongs to David and Hammer. With Granger regularly harassing her to get her to sell it, the only way she could protect it was to transfer ownership. Granger has already spoken to the bank owner about refusing to honor the loan to "folks who go around stirring up trouble." The Logan independence is a threat to the Grangers who donít want to see any real change in the subservient positions in which Blacks are held. . The end of the chapter is a foreshadowing of trouble Mr. Granger has already planned for the Logans.

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