In "Blues Ain't No Mockin Bird," how are the hawks like Camera and Smilin?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Told from the point of view of one of the black children who possesses a wry sense of humor, Toni Cade Bambara's short story "Blues Ain't No Mockin Bird" provides the child's interpretations of events that demonstrate Granny's love for and loyalty to her family.  When, therefore, a tall man with a movie camera cuts across the neighbor's and nears Granny's yard, Granny abruptly cuts off his "Good Morning"  and tells him not to film anything,

"I don’t know about the thing, the it, and the stuff," said Granny,... "Suppose you just shut that machine off."

But, he and the other man with him ignore her and as they leave, they try to capture as much as they can on the film that they are making as part of the "food-stamp campaign." Like the captured bird, Granny and her family are captive and exploited as "the two men movin' up on tiptoe like they was invisible or we were blind, one" continue their filming.

In their preying upon Granny and her family, the two white men are similar to hawks.  They, too, swoop down upon the privacy of the Cains, callously continuing to take from them pictures of parts of their lives, "drivin Granny crazy." 

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Blues Ain't No Mockingbird

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