he short story draws on the same pool of characters from the novel, and the main incident in "The Rockpile" is similar to a scene from the novel. In "The Rockpile," which takes place in Depression-era Harlem, John, the illegitimate son of Elizabeth Grimes, is unable to stop his brother, Roy, from getting into a fight on a rockpile with some other African-American boys. Roy gets hurt, and John gets blamed by his stepfather, although Elizabeth faces her husband and sticks up for John. When the story was first published in the 1960s, America was in the midst of the Civil Rights Movement, in which Baldwin was an active participant. The story addresses the issue of violence between African-American men, the violence inherent in African-American families, and the power of religion in Depression-era Harlem.