Why does Mr. Jamison stand out as an exception to the rule in Mildred Taylor's Roll Of Thunder, Hear My Cry?

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jameadows eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Mr. Jamison is one of the few white people in the novel who treats the Logan family and other African-American people with respect. As Cassie says in Chapter 4 about Mr. Jamison, "He was the only white man I had ever heard address Mama and Big Ma as 'Missus,' and I liked him for it." When Mr. Jamison deals with the Logan family in business, he is straightforward and honest. He tries to help Papa and Uncle Hammer, for example, when they want to get credit at a new store and to withdraw their business from the Wallace store. When Papa and Uncle Hammer wonder if they should trust Mr. Jamison, he tells them, "I'm a Southerner, born and bred, but that doesn't mean I approve of all that goes on here." Mr. Jamison does not believe in treating African-American people with unfairness or prejudice, even though most of the white community around him thinks that is acceptable.

At the end of the novel, Mr. Jamison even puts his life on the line when trying to protect T.J. from the white mob that is gathering. He tells the white mob, "Y'all let the sheriff and me take the boy. Let the law decide whether or not he's guilty." Later, he shields T.J. with his own body, and he gets T.J. away from the white mob. Perhaps one of the reasons Mr. Jamison is different from many of the white people in his Mississippi community is that he attended law school in the north. 

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Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

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