Malachai and the Henry family become invaluable allies of Randy and the Bragg family from the very beginning. The social and economic differences mostly derive from the fact that the Henry family is African American; as such in the 1950s, opportunities were limited. The Henry family lives in a renovated slave house on the edge of Bragg estate. Randy employs Missouri to keep house for him before the Day, and Malachi helped Randy tend the citrus orchard. After the Day, Randy's alliance with Malachi strengthens as the Bragg family and Henry family learn to rely on each other. Malachi is the first person that Randy thinks of to help him install artesian water lines to the main house, and despite their social and racial differences, Randy includes the Henry family on all of his schemes to improve their quality of life, including his steak cook out, salt gathering scheme, and his plan to catch the highwaymen.
Before the Day, Malachi and Randy were not really social equals because of the inherent racism of Fort Repose, but even so, Randy treated him with respect. After the day, Malachi and the Henry family remain loyal to the Braggs, and both families help one another through the most difficult of times.