Who is Momma's Mom in "The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963"?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Momma's Mom is Grandma Sands, a formidable woman who lives in Birmingham, Alabama.  Byron hasn't seen her since he was four years old, and has told Kenny and Joetta, who have never met her, that she is a mean old lady who is larger than life.  When the family arrives in Birmingham, Kenny is "expecting a troll...(he) thought Grandma Sands would be bigger than Dad...foaming at the mouth like she had rabies".  In reality, Grandma Sands is "a teeny-weeny, old, old, old woman that looked just like Momma would if someone shrank her down about five sizes and sucked all the juice out of her." Grandma Sands has a firm hand and a heart full of love.  When she speaks, Byron suddenly drops his tough-guy demeanor, keeping "his head down...smiling and saying 'Yes, ma'am' this and 'No, ma'am' that".  Momma and Dad have been using the threat of leaving Byron with Grandma Sands as a last resort in the face of Byron's rebellious behavior, and when he finally meets her, Kenny understands why (Chapter 11).

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The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963

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