Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry Chapter 7
Mama asks Stacey to bring her his new coat so that she can tailor it. Stacey nervously tells her he gave it to T.J. because T.J. told him it looked silly on him. She tells him to go get it, but Hammer tells her, "Seems to me if Stacey's not smart enough to hold onto a good coat, he don't deserve it." Chapter 7, pg. 142 Stacey feels terrible, even though no one beats him.
Cassie waits for her father to come home for Christmas, getting increasingly angry at the snobby Lillian Jean and the arrogant T.J. She plans revenge. When her father comes home, Cassie is overjoyed. Papa and Hammer talk about the tricks they played when they were boys. After supper, though, Mr. Morrison begins to talk about how when he was six years old his family was attacked by the night men. Almost everyone was killed, including his parents. Mama doesn't want her children to hear this, but Papa says, "These are things they need to hear, baby. It's their history." Chapter 7, pg. 148 Cassie eventually goes to bed, but wakes up in the middle of the night to hear Mama, Big Ma, Hammer and Papa talking about the Wallace store and the land. Mama believes that if they back their neighbors up at another store, offering to use their own land as credit if their neighbors can't pay their bills, then the townspeople will be able to close down the Wallace store. No one will have to shop there, as long as they have credit somewhere else--but no one has the money to provide them with credit except the Logans. The others tell Mama that if they do that, they will lose their land. Seeing Cassie in the doorway, Papa tells her, "We ain't never gonna lose this land." Chapter 7, pg. 152
The next morning, the children open their Christmas presents. Each of them gets a book, some candy and oranges. Later that day, Jeremy comes to the door. Hammer is uncomfortable, but Papa insists that Stacey be polite to Jeremy. Jeremy gives Stacey a flute he made, and then runs off, afraid that his family might be missing him. T.J. tries to insult the flute, but Stacey won't listen. Stacey thinks that Jeremy might be a good friend, but Papa says, "We Logans don't have much to do with white folks. You know why? 'Cause white folks mean trouble." Chapter 7, pg. 158 Nevertheless, Stacey puts the flute into his secret box.
Soon after, Papa beats the children for going to the Wallace store. Then Papa, Hammer, and Mr. Morrison drive off to town. That afternoon when they return, Mr. Jamison arrives. Cassie spies on the adults and learns that Big Ma is signing away her rights to the land to her sons. Then Mr. Jamison tells the adults that he will provide the credit for the black families who want to shop somewhere other than the Wallace store. He has enough money, and he wants to help these families. He says, "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." Chapter 7, pg. 161 He goes on to say that he is worried that Harlan Granger will still try to take their land, because Granger has a part in the Wallace store. If the store loses a lot of business, Granger will get angry and use the opportunity to punish the Logans any way he can, getting his land back in the process. Still, the Logans want to try to beat the racist system. Mr. Jamison hopes they can do it. A few days later, Granger comes to the house and threatens to call in the mortgage the Logans still owe him on part of their land. If they can't pay the mortgage, they will lose the land. He then threatens to lower the wages of his black workers. Papa and Hammer refuse to be intimidated.