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Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

by Mildred D. Taylor

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In Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, what news does Mr.Jamison bring papa? how do you think the Logan's should respond to this news.

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A Northerner, Mr. Hollenbeck, originally obtained thousands of acres of the Granger land during Reconstruction when the Grangers were impoverished and needed tax money; much later, he offered to sell this land back to the Grangers for much less than it was worth, but Filmore Granger would not accept the offered price. So, Hollenbeck sold it to several farmers, and Charles Jamison bought the rest. Big Ma refers to Mr. Jamison as a "good neighbor." Jamison retired and became a farmer on his land, bringing his family from Vicksburg. His son Wade was only eight years old then. When Wade Jemison grew up, he wanted to go North to law school, so after his father died, he sold two hundred acres to the Big Ma's husband, Paul Edward as she proudly tells her Chapter 4.

  • Now, in Chapter 7, Mr. Wade Jamison, who is sympathetic to the plight of the black families, comes to the Logan home and brings papers for Papa and Hammer to sign, papers which contain the legal rights to the farm, as Big Ma signs it over to her sons so that if something happens to her, the Logans will retain the property. While he is there, Mr. Jemison lets the family know that he has a number of friends in Vicksburg and has learned that the Logans are trying to obtain credit at the general store for about thirty families. Further, he acknowledges that the only way they can get credit is if the Logans put up their farm as collateral, and they would probably lose it.

Then, Papa said, "What are you getting at?"

"I'll back the credit.....I'm a Southerner...but that doesn't mean I approve of all that goes on her, and there are a lot of other white people who feel the same."

Hammer then asks Mr. Jemison why Mr. Wallace is not in jail if Mr. Jemison and others feel as he says; Mr. Jemison explains that there are not enough of them to render justice through the courts. He adds, "Backing the loan will be strictly a business matter." But, he adds that it would give him satisfaction to fight the Wallaces in this way.

  • The Logans should probably take his offer, but they may worry about causing problems for Mr. Jamison, who has been so kind to them. Perhaps, they could discuss this with the other men involved in the boycott.
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