Part 1, Chapter 1
* Robert Smith attempts to fly to the other side of Lake Superior with handmade wings.
* Robert Smith dies from the fall.
* As a result of Smith's death, Ruth Foster is admitted to Mercy Hospital, which does not normally take black patients.
* Ruth lives with her husband Macon Dead who despises her.
* Macon Dead is a landlord who is doing well financially.
* Ruth continues to breastfeed her children in order to have more human contact.
* As a result of the prolonged breastfeeding, the son Macon is nicknamed Milkman.
* Macon Dead also hates his sister, Pilate Dead.
* Macon goes to Porter's house to try to get his rent.
* Eventually, Porter passes out and Macon takes his money.
* Macon hears his sister singing and is touched by the sound.
Part 1, Chapter 2
* The Dead family goes for a Sunday drive.
* Milkman grows to be 12 and has a 17-year-old friend named...
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