When does The Road to Memphis occur?

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The Road to Memphis takes place in late 1941. It is the fourth and final book that tells the story of the Logan family, who are black landowners in rural Mississippi. The novel is narrated by Cassie, who is now seventeen years old.

While Cassie is becoming an adult and struggling with her plans for the future, she also witnesses the racial harassment directed at her friends and family. When her friend Moe retaliates against a racial attack with a crowbar, Cassie, her brother, and their friends accompany him to Memphis. Once in Memphis, he is able to catch a train heading north, where he will be safe. Although racial tensions are a major theme of this novel, it is also important to remember the US is struggling economically at the time, as the nation is on the brink of entering World War II.

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The Road to Memphis is the fourth installment of a historical fiction series written by author Mildred D. Taylor. While the previous books are set during the Great Depression, The Road to Memphis takes place in 1941, as the United States is emerging from its economic crisis and into the Second World War. Similarly, main character Cassie Logan is beginning to emerge into adulthood. Cassie feels inspired for her own future and wants to get an education, but begins to feel romantic attraction towards men, which might bring the prospect of choosing motherhood over a career.

Cassie and her family face the struggle of being Black Americans in the segregated South. They are targets for harassment and violence. The theme of race relations and the oppression of Black Americans is continuous throughout all the books of this series.

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