What did Lula do to Calpurnia in Chapter 12 of To Kill a Mockingbird?

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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While Atticus was out of town one weekend, Cal decided to take Jem and Scout to her own church in the Quarters. The children's white faces were unexpected, but the majority of the congregation greeted them warmly. However, one woman did not appreciate Cal bringing "white chillun to nigger church." Lula was

"... a tall Negro woman... bullet-headed with strange almond-shaped eyes, straight nose, and an Indian-bow mouth. She seemed seven feet tall."  (Chapter 12)

Lula didn't appreciate the mixing of races at her church, and it appeared that she would cause a disturbance. But Cal stood firm, telling her "Stop right there, nigger." Scout wanted to leave, but she soon saw that a "solid mass of colored people" had crowded her out, and suddenly "Lula was gone." It was a terrific learning experience for Jem and Scout, and it helped create a deeper bond between Scout and Cal. Described as "haughty" and a "troublemaker," Lula serves as the prime example in the novel of an African American's prejudice toward the white people of Maycomb.


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