Book 4

Jane tells the story of Jimmy. Jane begins by saying that in her community, people are always looking for someone to lead them. Every time a child is born, she says, the elders look into the baby’s face and to themselves ask if this child is the One who will help them, or save them, or at least lead them out of their misery. Jimmy, Jane says, was that One.

He is born to Shirley Aaron, but she, like many of the other young mothers, spends most of her time in the big cities now, working for better pay than she would receive on the plantation. So Jimmy is put under the care of his great aunt Lena Washington. The population on Samson at this time is primarily made up of young children and old people. Jane is very old by...

(The entire section is 697 words.)