A Kind of Freedom Summary & Study Guide

Sexton, Margaret Wilkerson
This Study Guide consists of approximately 33 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of A Kind of Freedom.
This section contains 580 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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A Kind of Freedom Summary & Study Guide Description

A Kind of Freedom Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Quotes and a Free Quiz on A Kind of Freedom by Sexton, Margaret Wilkerson.

The following version of this book was used to create this study guide: Sexton, Margaret Wilkerson. A Kind of Freedom. Berkeley, CA: Counterpoint Press, 2017.

The novel opens in New Orleans in the winter of 1944. Evelyn and her younger sister Ruby are students at Dillard University, and one day on their way to school, they meet a premedical student named Renard. Evelyn’s family is quite wealthy, and Renard is from a relatively poor background, but Evelyn and Renard begin to see each other more often, and they soon fall in love. Evelyn’s father is a successful doctor, as well as the first African-American doctor in the state of Louisiana. He opposes the idea of Evelyn dating Renard because Renard comes from such an impoverished background.

The novel then transitions to the fall of 1986 in New Orleans. Jackie—Evelyn and Renard’s daughter—is in her thirties and has an infant son named T.C. She works at a nursery, and her husband Terry left her a few months ago after he became addicted to crack cocaine. One day, Terry appears at the apartment where Jackie is living, and he informs her that he has been sober for two months after attending a rehabilitation clinic. Jackie decides to accept Terry back into her life. The narrative then transitions to the summer of 2010. T.C. is in his mid-twenties and has just been released from a prison sentence of about eight months for drug possession. He meets with his friend Tiger, with whom he has previously organized the illegal sale and distribution of cannabis, and they decide to grow an indoor cannabis farm for profit.

The narrative then transitions back to the summer of 1944. Evelyn and Renard are still dating, but Renard eventually enlists to fight in World War Two, as the government has agreed to pay his remaining school fees in return. Shortly before Renard leaves for the army, he and Evelyn have sex. Two months later, Evelyn realizes that she is pregnant. The narrative then transitions to the fall of 1986. Terry finds a new job, but when Jackie’s parents find out that Terry is back in her life, they criticize Jackie for accepting Terry back. However, Jackie stands by her decision. The narrative then transitions to the summer of 2010. T.C. and Tiger have begun work on the indoor cannabis farm. T.C. reunites with his ex-girlfriend Alicia, who is now pregnant with his child. T.C., ecstatic, decides to marry her and help her raise the child. His aunt offers him a job at her law firm, so T.C. decides to end his work with Tiger. However, T.C. is then detained by the police while he has cannabis in his car, and he is arrested.

In the winter of 1987, Jackie’s family has accepted Terry, but Terry soon loses his job. Shortly after, he gives in to his addiction and leaves Jackie, this time permanently. In the winter of 2011, T.C. begins a three-year prison sentence. Alicia comes to see him in prison with their infant son Malik. T.C. resolves to make a better life for his son. In the winter of 1945, Renard returns from war. Both of Evelyn’s parents know about her pregnancy by then, but she has not yet told Renard. She tells him when she meets him at the train station. Renard is ecstatic and proposes marriage. Evelyn’s father gives his approval for their marriage.

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