Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

What are some characteristics of Papa and Mama and what are the examples?


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A tall, handsome man, Papa is Big Ma's second youngest son. He works from the end of planting until Christmas on the railroad in order to pay for his land. He was raised on the same farm on which his family now lives. Ready to stand up for himself and his family, he does what he "gotta do" to survive and respect himself. He risks his life to institute a boycott against the Wallaces, store owners who burned a black man to death. His leg is broken and he is shot at in retribution for the boycott. He also comes close to losing his land when the bank, influenced by Mr. Granger, calls in the note on it in. He is willing to use his shotgun to protect TJ but ultimately uses his ingenuity to stop the lynch mob and save TJ's life, even though his strategy loses him a quarter of his own cotton. Papa believes that his family and the land must be protected at all costs.

Mama Logan is a thirty-three year old woman from the Delta, Mama went to high school in Jackson and was sent to the Crandon Teacher School by her tenant-farmer father. Her father died during her final year in teacher school, and she married Papa when she was nineteen. She has taught at the Great Faith school for fourteen years, and has four children of her own. Her strong pride in her race and her sense of justice lead her to paste over the inside covers of the schoolbooks, where the "very poor" condition of the book is listed next to the race of the black students. This outspokenness results in her being fired by the white school board. Though she tries to keep stories of the violence and injustice around them from her children, she ultimately cannot shield them from the truth.