What evidence supports the idea that the family in the story "Blues Ain't No Mockingbird" remains strong, even when presented with prejudice from the men with cameras?

The family in this story remains strong, even when presented with prejudice from the men with the cameras, by maintaining an air of defiance. Granny does this by talking to the men, whereas Granddaddy does it by smashing up the men's equipment and driving them off his property.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

A couple of white filmmakers are lurking around Granny and Granddaddy Cain's property in the hopes of making a documentary for the government on food stamps recipients. There's no evidence that these folks are actually on welfare; the filmmakers appear to be operating on the racially prejudiced assumption that because the Cains are black, they need to rely on food stamps.

Not unreasonably, the Cains don't take kindly to the filmmakers and their presumptuous attitudes. They particularly object to them intruding on their property, which they rightly see as a gross impertinence. Nevertheless, they manage to remain strong throughout the ordeal. Granny Cain does this by giving the filmmakers a piece of her mind. In one particularly notable exchange, she rails against one of the men's over-familiarity towards her:

“Now, aunty,” the Camera said, pointing the thing straight at her.

“Your mama and I are not related”.

Granny Cain is not about to let these men invade her property simply because they happen to be white.

When Granddaddy Cain comes back later after a successful day's chicken hawk hunting, his strength manifests itself in a more physical form of defiance. He smashes up the filmmakers' camera equipment before telling them what they ought to have known in the first place: that they were standing in his wife's flower bed. “This is our place”, he says, underlining the Cains' dignity and independence, which had been violated by the filmmakers' intrusion.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial