What happened when Momma asked about Mr. Roberts in The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963?

When Momma asks about Mr. Robert in The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963, Grandma Sands scolds her for her prying and somewhat insensitive questions. Momma retreats from the conversation looking like a child who has been chastised, which Kenny finds quite entertaining.

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When Kenny and his family first arrive at Grandma Sands's house, he notices that his grandmother casually mentions that she and Mr. Robert "usually just has leftovers on Sunday." This catches the attention of her daughter, Kenny's mother, who asks who Mr. Robert is. Grandma Sands deflects the question and says that "as soon's he gets up," she wants the entire family to meet him.

A bit later, Momma returns to this conversation and asks her mother to clarify the significance of Mr. Robert. Grandma Sands laughs and tells Momma that she and Mr. Robert have been good friends for years. Troubled, Momma asks her mother to explain what "good friends" means, exactly.

Grandma Sands cuts her off and asks Momma to just say what she's thinking. Stumbling a bit, Momma asks Grandma Sands whether her father knew about Mr. Robert. Grandma Sands takes a motherly tone and sternly reminds her that Momma's father has been dead for twenty years; much has changed during all that time. Mr. Robert provides much-needed companionship to Grandma Sands. Kenny marvels at the way his grandmother conveys this information without screaming or yelling, and yet it is clear that his mother has just received a strict scolding.

Momma retreats from the conversation looking like a young child who has just been chastised for her comments, much to Kenny's entertainment.

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