One Crazy Summer

by Rita Williams-Garcia

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Student Question

In One Crazy Summer's "Rally for Bobby" chapter, why doesn't Delphine want to attend the rally with her sisters?

Quick answer:

In the chapter "Rally for Bobby," Delphine does not want to go to the rally because she fears for her safety and that of her sisters. Having learned about the story of Little Bobby, she has become acutely aware of the danger to be found in such situations, and she is determined to keep herself and her sisters safe.

Expert Answers

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At this start of this chapter, Delphine has just read about what happened to Bobby Hutton. She has been thinking a lot about this, and about the shooting in Oakland, and she has started to perceive the very real dangers associated with making a stand. She is haunted by the realization that Bobby had been just six years older than her.

Reading Bobby Hutton's story causes Delphine to start taking a closer look at members of the Panthers, and she realizes that they are either teenagers or only slightly older. She realizes that by going to the rally, she could potentially put herself and her sisters in danger, and the fact that she is tall for age only adds to this, because no one is likely to believe how young she is.

She realizes that not only going to the rally, but also spending time at the center instead of at Cecile's home jeopardizes their safety. Another thought which adds to her hesitation about the rally is what Papa would think about her taking her sisters "to a summer school where police cars drove by to see what [they] were doing."

Despite the fact that her sisters are extremely keen to go to the rally, especially when they learn that they will have a chance to perform there, Delphine remains concerned, and she expresses her worries to Sister Mukumbu:

Sister Mukumbu, it's all dangerous. Just being here at the Center is dangerous.

Sister Mukumbu's protestations that everyone in the community has to look out for everybody else do not sway Delphine. She remains resolute that if Little Bobby had the choice between being still alive and being remembered, he would choose life. She resolves that she and her sisters will not attend the rally.

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