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Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 255

Research the career of the gospel singer Mahalia Jackson. In what ways is she a role model for Essie? What does Laura admire about her?

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How important is race to Tambourines to Glory? How would the story be different if all of the characters were white, or Latino, or if people of different ethnic groups lived in the neighborhood?

Why does the trick with the Holy Water from the Jordan River work? People living in Harlem must know that these two women would have no way of actually obtaining water from Jordan. What makes them believe the words on the bottles?

In what ways are the challenges faced by Essie and Laura, living in New York City after growing up in the South, like those faced by any other immigrants (for example, like people who came to New York from Puerto Rico or from China)? In what ways are they different?

Research the economic opportunities for undereducated poor people today. What kinds of jobs are available for people with a high school or less level of education? What kinds of financial aid are available for higher education? What kinds of housing are available for someone working a minimum-wage job? What industries and businesses are located in big cities? Are poor people better off today than they were in 1958?

Would Tambourines to Glory make a good movie? What changes in the story would have to be made in order to make the story appealing to today’s audiences? Who would you cast in the leading roles?

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