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The Dark-Thirty: Southern Tales of the Supernatural Characters

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The Dark-Thirty: Southern Tales of the Supernatural Summary & Study Guide Description

The Dark-Thirty: Southern Tales of the Supernatural 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 Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on The Dark-Thirty: Southern Tales of the Supernatural by Patricia McKissack.

Henri, appears in The Legend of Pin Oak

Henri is the son of a black woman from New Orleans and the white owner of Pin Oak. When Henri is just a small boy, his mother dies. Henri's father takes him to Pin Oak where he raises him alongside his son from his white wife. Although the father never publicly acknowledges that Henri is his son, he does not deny the child either. When Henri becomes an adult, the father tells him he is free because his mother was free and that he can leave if he would like. Henri, however, chooses to remain on Pin Oak to be with his wife, Charlemae, a slave. Henri makes a deal with his father to work for Charlemae's freedom.

When the old father dies, he leaves Pin Oak to his legitimate son, Harper. Harper immediately gets Pin Oak into financial trouble and decides to sell Henri to solve that problem and to also rid himself of his illegitimate brother. However, when Harper learns that Henri is free, he decides to sell Charlemae instead. Henri and Charlemae run away with their infant child only to be forced to jump into the river when cornered by Harper and the slave dealers.

Harper McAvoy, appears in The Legend of Pin Oak

Harper McAvoy is the new owner of Pin Oak. Harper inherited the plantation upon his father's death and has gotten it into financial trouble because he has refused to accept the overseer's opinions as to how the plantation should be run. This is because the overseer is Harper's half brother, Henri, a man born to a free black woman as well as Harper's father. Harper has grown up aware of the parentage of this boy and he is deeply ashamed of it. Not only this, but Harper is jealous that his father was closer to his half brother and would have left Pin Oak to him if he could have.

Harper has gotten Pin Oak into deep financial trouble and decides to sell Henri to fix the problem. However, after selling Henri, Harper learns that Henri is a free man. Harper decides then to sell Henri's wife and child instead. This causes Henri to run away. Harper goes after him, but falls into the river to his death when he tries to stop them.

Hoop Granger , appears in Justice

Hoop Granger is a white man in Tennessee who runs a gas station that has been in his family for several generations. When a rich white man is killed down the street from the gas station, Hoop is questioned by police. Immediately, Hoop points the finger at Alvin Tinsley, a black veterinarian who worked for the dead man. Hoop is disappointed when the police do not arrest Alvin, and he decides to take matters into his own hands. Hoop, as part of the KKK, kidnaps and hangs Alvin for the crime.

After Alvin's death, Hoop is exhilarated by his actions. However, when he begins seeing etchings appear in the glass of his gas station windows, he begins to become panicked. The pictures become clearer as each day passes, even though Hoop washes them each morning. Finally the windows show the murder Hoop committed. Hoop had borrowed money from the rich man but failed to pay it back. The man came to collect and Hoop panicked, killing him. Hoop goes to the police and confesses to both crimes.

Alvin Tinsley, appears in Justice

Alvin Tinsley is a black veterinarian living in Tennessee. Alvin was once punished for killing a cat twenty years before because Hoop forced him to make the connection. Alvin refuses to allow Hoop to pin another murder on him now as he tries to do when a local rich man is murdered. Alvin stands up for himself, even when the KKK comes and hangs Alvin for a crime he did not commit. Alvin warns Hoop that he will come back and prove who the real killer is. It seems Alvin has when each morning Hoop wakes to find the details of his crime etched on the glass of the windows in his gas station.

Lester Simmons, appears in The 11:59

Lester Simmons is a retired porter for the Pullman train cars. Lester likes to hang out with the rookie porters and talk about the exciting times when the porters formed the first black union. However, after telling one such story, Lester hears a train whistle at exactly 11:59. Lester knows this is the whistle of the fabled death train and he decides to fight it. Lester locks himself in his apartment and hides, but the train still finds him. In the end, Lester dies of a heart attack and his body is found in the apartment with a gold watch that has stopped at exactly 11:59.

Esau Mayes, appears in The Sight

Esau is born with a veil on his head, marking him as someone who will have psychic gifts. Esau has the gift of sight, an ability to see into the future. When Esau's father finds out about this gift, he forces Esau to use it to help him win money at horse racing. However, Esau feels guilty and pushed to use his gift, causing it to leave him. The gift comes back when Esau is a happily married man with two children. Esau begins to have nightmares about a house fire that endangers his wife and children.

Esau ignores the nightmares at first, but then realizes how important they are. Esau sends his wife and children to stay with his mother for a time. While they are gone, Esau concentrates on the images of his sight and realizes the fire will take place at his mother's house that night. Esau rushes to save his wife and children only to discover his powers saved them because his wife could hear him calling psychically to him to get out of the house.

Eula Mae Daniels, appears in The Woman in the Snow

Eula Mae Daniels is a young black woman whose child becomes ill the night of a terrible snow storm. Eula Mae asks the white bus driver to take her to the hospital, but he refuses when he realizes she does not have the money for the fare. Eula Mae and her child freeze to death in the snow. Eula Mae haunts the street where she died and can be seen each November night when a snow storm comes. Twenty-six years after her death, Eula Mae boards the bus because the first black bus driver of the route drives down her street. The new bus driver pays her fare and drops her off at the hospital. Eula Mae is never seen again.

Josie, appears in The Conjure Brother

Josie is a young girl who wants a younger brother. When Josie goes to a conjure woman to ask for a little brother, she discovers that she has been given an older brother instead. Josie is tortured by her older brother for weeks, but when given the option to have him tortured by the conjure woman, she refuses. Later, Josie wakes up to discover that her older brother is gone and her mother is expecting a younger child. Josie has learned how to treat a younger sibling in her experiences with her conjure brother and feels prepared for the new baby.

Leddy, appears in Boo Mama

Leddy is a young civil rights activist who has lost her husband and finally her will to keep fighting when Robert Kennedy is shot. Leddy decides to drop out of civilization and live in a house in the mountains of Tennessee. However, Leddy's son wanders into the mountains and is lost. A year later, Leddy discovers that her son was saved by a group of Sasquatch and that he must return to them because he is becoming physically one of them. Leddy chooses to continue her drop out of society and join this mysterious group of Sasquatch.

Laura, appears in The Gingi

Laura is a modern woman who no longer believes in the religious and spiritualism of her culture. One day Laura buys a statue that has hidden inside it a woman of the Dabobo. Laura is warned that she should not invite such an object into her home, but she ignores the warnings. Almost immediately, terrible things begin happening in her home. A rabid dog goes after Laura's daughter and her husband is nearly electrocuted. When Laura tries to rid the house of the bad spirit, things only get worse, and she and her family are soon driven from their home.

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