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Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry Quotes

21 of the best book quotes from Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
  1. #1
    “What had happened to T.J. in the night I did not understand, but I knew that it would not pass. And I cried for those things which had happened in the night and would not pass.”
  2. #2
    “I’m a Southerner, born and bred, but that doesn’t mean I approve of all that goes on here, and there are a lot of other white people who feel the same.”
  3. #3
    “Then if you want something and it’s a good thing and you got it in the right way, you better hang on to it and don’t let nobody talk you out of it. You care what a lot of useless people say ‘bout you you’ll never get anywhere, ‘cause there’s a lotta folks don’t want you to make it. You understand what I’m telling you?”
  4. #4
    ″[Little Man] ran frantically along the road looking for a foothold and, finding one, hopped onto the bank, but not before the bus had sped past enveloping him in a scarlet haze while laughing white faces pressed against the bus windows.”
  5. #5
    “What good’s a car? It can’t grow cotton. You can’t build a home on it. And you can’t raise four fine babies in it.”
  6. #6
    “Big Ma didn’t want you hurt. That was the only thing on her mind.”
  7. #7
    “No matter how low the pantry supplies, each family always managed to contribute something, and as the churchgoers made the rounds from table to table, hard times were forgotten at least for the day.”
  1. #8
    “Mama had to buy our clothes in shifts, which meant that we each had to wait our turn for new clothes.”
  2. #9
    “And in the fireplace itself, in a black pan set on a high wire rack, peanuts roasted over the hickory fire as the waning light of day swiftly deepened into a fine velvet night speckled with white forerunners of a coming snow, and the warm sound of husky voices and rising laughter mingled in tales of sorrow and happiness and days past but not forgotten.”
  3. #10
    “The boys and I would wear threadbare clothing washed to dishwater color; but always, the taxes and the mortgage would be paid up.”
  4. #11
    “By the end of October the rain had come, falling heavily upon the six-inch layer of dust which had had its own way for more than two months. At first the rain had merely splotched the dust, which seemed to be rejoicing in its own resiliency…but eventually the dust was forced to surrender to the mastery of the rain and it churned into a fine red mud that oozed between our toes and slopped against our ankles as we marched miserably to and from school.”
  5. #12
    “But that fig’s got roots that run deep, and it belongs in that yard as much as that oak and walnut…It don’t give up. It give up, it’ll die. There’s a lesson to be learned from that little tree, Cassie girl, ‘cause we’re like it. We keep doing what we gotta, and we don’t give up. We can’t.”
  6. #13
    “Friends gotta trust each other, Stacey, ‘cause ain’t nothin’ like a true friend.”
  7. #14
    “It is something, Cassie. White is something just like black is something. Everybody born on this earth is something and nobody, no matter what color, is better than anybody else.”
  1. #15
    “In the first place no one cares enough to come down here, and in the second place if anyone should come, maybe he could see all the things we need—current books for all of our subjects, not just somebody’s old throwaways, desks, paper, blackboards, erasers, maps, chalk…”
  2. #16
    “I asked him once why he had to go away, why the land was so important. He took my hand and said in his quiet way: “Look out there, Cassie girl. All that belongs to you. You ain’t never had to live on nobody’s place but your own and long as I live and the family survives, you’ll never have to. That’s important. You may not understand that now, but one day you will. Then you’ll see.”
  3. #17
    “See, fellows, there’s a system to getting out of work,” T.J. was expounding as I sat down. “Jus’ don’t be ‘round when it’s got to be done. Only thing is, you can’t let your folks know that’s what you’re doin’.”
  4. #18
    “In this house we do not give away what loved ones give to us. Now go bring me that coat.”
  5. #19
    “Maybe one day whites and blacks can be real friends, but right now the country ain’t built that way . . . The trouble is, down here in Mississippi, it costs too much to find out . . . So I think you’d better not try.”
  6. #20
    “And to all our little first grade friends only today starting on the road to knowledge and education, may your tiny feet find the pathways of learning steady and forever before you.”
  7. #21
    “They also said that slavery was good for us because it taught us to be good Christians—like the white people.” She sighed deeply, her voice fading into a distant whisper. “But they didn’t teach us Christianity to save our souls, but to teach us obedience. They were afraid of slave revolts and they wanted us to learn the Bible’s teachings about slaves being loyal to their masters.”

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