What genre is Mildred Taylor's Rolling Thunder, Hear My Cry?      

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Mildred Taylor's novel Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry is classified as historical fiction. For, it depicts historical realities such as slavery through the oral tradition as older members of the family relate stories.  Certainly, racial discrimination under the Jim Crow Laws still in existence in the setting of Mississippi in 1936 is addressed in the narrative. 

Taylor's novel can also be classified as social fiction as it examines and  proposes solutions to social injustice as it examines human behavior and the reactions to this behavior. Mrs. Logan tells her children,

"White people may demand our respect, but what we give them is not respect but fear. What we give to our own people is far more important because it's given freely.

...Baby, we have no choice of what color we're born or whether we're rich or poor. What we do have is some choice over what we make of our lives once we're here."

The rejection of the status quo is one of the ways of attaining social justice. For instance, the Logan children protest their mistreatment by the white bus driver who splashes mud on them, they refuse to accept the beat up, old textbooks, and they speak up for themselves in Strawberry and before their parents. Cassie gets even with Lillian Jean Simms for being made to apologize to her, and Stacey endangers his own life to rescue T. J. Avery from the angry mob.

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