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Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 189

The adult characters in this book have moved to New York from the South, a move that was common among blacks m the early decades of the twentieth century. Choose a major northern industrial town, such as Chicago, Detroit, Pittsburgh, or New York, and research the migration patterns of blacks to that city. Explain such details as how many people came from what states and how their arrival affected the city's political structure.

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Storefront evangelical churches like the Temple of the Fire Baptized portrayed are a staple of American religion. Find out about one and report on its history, its structure, its membership, etc. If you live in a place that does not have any small churches like this one, do your report on a television ministry or one that is conducted over the internet.

While spiritual hymns represent an important part of church life in this novel, the greatest musical influence seems to be when John, as an infant, is transfixed by the blues music that is playing in the hall of Florence's building. Explain the historical relationship between gospel music and blues, showing the evolution of each.

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