In Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, Cassie (the main character) looks up to her mother. Her mother, Mary, is a strong woman who can hold her own against those who oppose her. She works as a school teacher. One of her defining moments occurs when she disregards the lessons in the class textbook and discusses slavery with her students. Despite opposition from others, she strives to tell her students the truth about the world they live in.
Cassie views her mother as strong, unyielding, and determined. However, the historical context of the novel (Mississippi during the Great Depression) is enough to provide opposition for this character. Her status as a black woman prevents people from taking her seriously, and to some extent, she does live in fear of retribution from the white men in the town who try to silence her. She tries to set a good example for her children by teaching them to stand up for themselves, yet she can't push past the prejudices and threats of violence.