What sense of freedom for the children does the author create in Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry?

In Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, the author creates a sense of freedom for the children by emphasizing their self-confidence and self-worth in the face of racism. The children are also shown to be free in their environment, free to play outside and explore the world.

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In the 1976 novel Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by author Mildred D. Taylor, the narrator and protagonist Cassie Logan is a black girl living with her family in Depression-era Mississippi. It is also the era of Jim Crow, so racism is rampant. Despite this, Taylor does show Cassie and her siblings possessing some degree of freedom. This is partly due to their parents who, while strict, teach them to be strong, intelligent individuals in a world that does not value these characteristics in black people. They also have a great deal of freedom in their rural surroundings, where they walk to school, play in the woods, and spend time outside.

The greatest sense of freedom that Taylor creates, in my opinion, is that of individual freedom. That is, whatever the white world throws at them, the characters do have agency, self-possession, and a sense of their individual worth that acts as a kind of armor against noxious racism. We see this when Little Man is at school and is given an old, outdated textbook, passed down from white students. He is defiant, asks for a new one, and then throws the book. Cassie stands up for him and both of them are beaten. Later in the novel, Cassie is insulted by a store clerk, and she yells back at him "I ain't nobody's little n----r!"

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