In chapter 21, Jem, Scout, and Dill return to the courthouse to hear the final verdict and Jem has faith that Atticus will easily win the case. However, Judge Taylor reads the verdict, and the jury finds Tom Robinson guilty of assaulting and raping Mayella Ewell. The children instantly lose their childhood innocence by witnessing racism secondhand, and Scout seems like the entire ordeal is moving in slow motion. Once the verdict is read, Atticus walks quickly down the middle aisle toward the south exit, and Scout can feel someone tapping her shoulder. Scout finally looks up and sees the that entire Negro balcony is standing. Reverend Sykes then tells Scout,
Miss Jean Louise, stand up. Your father’s passin‘.
The reason the black community stands while Atticus walks down the aisle is to show their respect and admiration for his valiant defense of Tom Robinson. Atticus is the first and only lawyer in Maycomb County to defend a black man to the best of his ability. During the proceedings, Atticus not only proved Tom Robinson's innocence but also showed that Bob Ewell was Mayella's perpetrator. Despite the unfortunate, tragic verdict, the entire black community recognizes Atticus's valiant defense and stands as a sign of respect. The next morning, the black community of Maycomb once again displays their admiration and thanks for Atticus's efforts by leaving him an extensive amount of food on the steps of his back porch.