How does the black community show appreciation to Atticus?

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The black citizens of Maycomb display their appreciation in several ways for Atticus’s valiant defense of Tom Robinson. At the end of the trial, Atticus walks down the aisle and the black community stands as he is passing to show their respect and appreciation for his services. Reverend Sykes even tells Scout to stand as her father walks out of the courtroom.

The following morning, Atticus wakes up and is surprised that Calpurnia made chicken for breakfast. When Calpurnia tells Atticus to follow her into the kitchen, he is overwhelmed with emotion to discover that the black community has given him a massive amount of homemade food as a sign of their appreciation. Scout mentions that their kitchen table was full of “hunks of salt pork, tomatoes, beans, even scuppernongs.” Calpurnia then tells Atticus that she found all of the food carefully placed on the back steps in the morning. Overall, the black community shows their respect for Atticus by standing out of recognition as he walks out of the courtroom and presents him with gifts of food on the morning after the trial to show their appreciation.

katemschultz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

They do this in two ways. First, all of the black people who are sitting in the balcony stand up as Atticus is leaving the courtroom. It's a particularly moving scene in the movie, as the lower courtroom is empty, and the balcony is completely full of black people, just standing in silence as Atticus walks out.

The other thing they do is send over a lot of food to the Finch house. Atticus mentions something about dinner or food to Calpurnia, and she responds that they have more than enough food--the black community has been sending it to him to thank him for what he did. Atticus, being the honorable man he is, insists it's not necessary.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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