Chapter 2, "Friendships," begins with Cassie hanging out with Moe. Moe is a sharecropper who gives as much of his earnings as he can to his father. He someday hopes to purchase his own land, but that seems a far-off dream. He casually brings up the possibility of marriage with Cassie, but she brushes it off. She has plans to finish high school and attend college instead. Cassie wants to be a teacher. Meanwhile, Mr. Turner and several of the other boys are admiring Stacey's new car.
Stacey drives Cassie home. When they get there, nearly every member of the family shares their opinion about the car. Mama is worried that Stacey has wasted his money on it, while Christopher-John is nothing if not impressed with it. They all take a short joy ride before Papa gets home.
Jeremy Simms arrives toward dinner time as Cassie is washing the car. Jeremy and Stacey talk more about the car while Cassie continues to scrub it. Jeremy expresses his gratitude for the help he received getting out of the ditch earlier. Cassie remarks to herself that Jeremy is the only white man who doesn't look down on them for being Black.
Things get a little complicated when Jeremy asks to take the car for a ride. It goes against societal norms for Black and white people to ride together like that. However, they ride around the pasture and then down the forest road. Cassie walks after them. She finds them parked by the pond, where she eavesdrops on them reminiscing. Jeremy shifts the conversation to apologize for his father's earlier treatment of Stacey. Jeremy says that his father is set in his bigoted ways but that he doesn't see Black people the same way. Jeremy wishes that he was as close with his father as Stacey is with his.
After everyone is back at the house, Papa finally comes home. Jeremy takes this as his cue to leave. After he is gone, Papa asks Stacey what Jeremy was doing there. Past experience has taught Papa to be suspicious of white people. Papa then sternly checks out the new car. Stacey, Christopher-John, and Little Man seem a bit upset that Papa isn't as excited about it as they are. But then Papa smiles and announces that he wants to take it for a drive.
After an hour-long joy ride, Papa and the kids get back to the house. Big Ma is upset that they're all late for dinner. When Cassie announces that she will be joining the boys to go racoon hunting, Big Ma gets really upset and accuses Papa of spoiling her and not treating her like the young lady that she is.
The conversation then shifts to Stacey's work. With new army bases being built, Stacey thinks he can find more work with the trucking company. Mama expresses her concern that it might not be the best time for Stacey to leave his work at the box factory. Mama is also worried about the possibility of war, but Stacey and Little Man aren't worried.
During dinner, Sissy and Harris come to the house to say hello. They discuss Reverend Gabson's poor health, and Stacey says he'll pay him a visit soon. Sissy then gives Cassie a hard time for her desire to go hunting with the boys. After dinner, Sissy tells Cassie how upset she is about Clarence's enlistment in the army. She had been hoping that Clarence would stick around and marry her.
When Sissy and Harris leave, Cassie goes to her room to pick out an outfit for church. Mama comes in and tells Cassie how much everyone is going to miss her after she heads off to Jackson. She also teases her daughter about looking good for Moe. Cassie says that she wants to get her education before she considers marriage. Besides, Moe is a friend, not a love interest. Big Mama then comes in, and they help Cassie try on different church outfits. As the chapter ends, Cassie puts aside the church clothes and gets ready for the hunt.