Kenny, concerned about Byron being sent to live in Alabama, has a man-to-man talk with his father. Dad says that it is especially important, given the current difficulties black people must face because of backlash against the Civil Rights Movement, that Byron learn "that his time for playing is running out fast...the world doesn't have a lot of jokes waiting for him...he's got to be ready". Dad and Momma don't feel he is learning what he needs to know in Flint, and so they will send him to stay awhile with Grandma Sands in Birmingham.
Mrs. Davidson, a neighbor, comes by and brings a little angel which she gushingly says reminds her of Joetta. Joetta is polite but perturbed, because the angel is made of "white clay" and has blue eyes.
Momma has the trip to Birmingham planned in minute detail in a notebook entitled, "The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963". The family will drive three hundred miles on "Day One", travel "only" two hundred and fifty miles on "Day Two", complete the last three hundred miles on "Day Three". Momma has outlined whan and where they will stop to eat and use restroom facilities, and made alternative preparations if things don't work out somewhere as anticipated. She knows that in the South, there are many places where black people are not allowed to eat or stay.
Byron had planned to run away the night before the family left, but his plans had been foiled. He resolves to spoil the trip by being silent the whole way, but after a few miles is fighting merrily with Kenny (Chapter 9).
In this chapter, Kenny and his family are starting their trip to Birmingham, Alabama. Kenny fears that his brother,Byron, will be severely punished by their grandmother, Grandma Sands. A Byron is intimidated by his family because they are sending him there, so he tries to run away the night before, but didn't succeed. In the next chapter as the reader we learn more about Grandma Sands and the "style" of Mr. Watson.