- Stacey Logan: A 12-year-old boy who is slowly progressing into manhood. He is protective over his siblings. He is the oldest child of the family and is friends with T . J . but questions it sometimes ., but in the end realizes how he was changing. While Papa is away he feels that he's the man of the house and needs to keep his family safe.
- Cassie Logan: The narrator and protagonist. Cassie is 9 years old. She has a fiery temper, is brave, and also is naive concerning the facts of racism, but sometimes she can be just like the boys. She is very brave and strong for herself. She's strong-willed, and will speak her mind in just about any situation.
- Christopher-John Logan: A plump, cheerful 7 year-old, Christopher-John is the third-oldest of the children. He is timid and easy going. Christopher John doesn't really stand out in the crowd, so he is very different from his other siblings.
- Little Man Logan (Clayton Chester): A meticulously neat 6 year-old first-grader, Little Man is the youngest of the Logan children. He also doesn't understand why blacks get treated so badly and doesn't understand the concept why blacks and whites are different. All he knows is that he does not like it one bit.
- Papa (David Paul Logan): The father of the Logan children. He values his independence highly, leaving for months at a time to work on the railroad in order not to lose ownership of Logan land.
- Uncle Hammer: The uncle of the Logan children. He sells his car later in the book so the family could keep the land.
- Mama (Mary Logan): The mother of her five children, Stacey, Cassie, Christopher-John, Louise, and Little Man. She teaches seventh grade at Great Faith Elementary, a class that gets smaller every year when her older students leave school to work on their families' sharecropper lands, and is eventually fired when T.J. tells on her pasting over the books' covers' racist front cover charts and about their leading of the boycott of the Wallace's.
- Big Ma (Caroline) The mother of Papa and Uncle Hammer. The loving grandmother of Cassie, Stacey, Little Man, Louise, and Christopher John. The main caretaker of the house.
- Jeremy Simms: A white boy whose family is racist, Jeremy doesn't like or share his family's beliefs, and tries to be friends with Stacey and the others. For Christmas, Jeremy visits Stacey and gives him a flute and Mama some nuts. He lives in a tree house in an attempt to be away from his family, whom he detests. No matter how many times the Logan family shuns him, he never stops trying to be their friend, like a stray dog who follows them. Papa doesn't want him to be the Logan children's friend because he is afraid that Jeremy will grow up to be like the rest of his family.
- Lillian Jean Simms: The older sister of Jeremy but younger than R.W. and Melvin Simms. Lillian Jean humiliates Cassie in Strawberry by shoving her in the road, and, later on in the novel, Cassie takes revenge by pretending to be her friend for several weeks and learning all her secrets that her friends tell her. After a month, Cassie brings her into the woods and drops her books, beats her up and then blackmails her into apologizing for what happened in Strawberry by threatening to tell that she told her and her friends' secrets to a black child and had been beaten up by a nine-year-old black child.
- Melvin and R.W. Simms: Jeremy and Lillian Jean Simms' older, racist brothers who use T.J. for their own wants and get him in trouble for burglary and the murder of Jim Lee Barnett.
- Charlie Simms: The father of Lillian Jean, Jeremy, Melvin and R.W. Simms. He is a member of the night men. He is a very respected white man, but is very racist and does not like black people and immigrants. Charlie grabs Cassie and pushes her off the sidewalk in Strawberry because she accidentally bumped into Lillian Jean and will not apologize "properly".
School (teachers, principal, etc.)
- Miss Daisy Crocker: Black teacher at Great Faith Elementary School, calling very poor books "new" and "wonderful" and has no reaction to the chart in the student's books referring to the book condition as "Very Poor".
- Mr. Wellever: Principal of the Great Faith Elementary School, but is powerless when Granger and the Wallaces fire Mama from working there.
- Gracey Pearson, Alma Scott and Mary Lou Wellever: Three girls that don't want Cassie to sit next to them, Mary Lou is the daughter of the principal and the only one who wore a new dress the day school started.
- Mr. Morrison: A tall and well-built man Papa took into the Logan family since he had lost his job, who slowly becomes accepted as a member of the Logan family.
- Harlan Granger: Son of Filmore Granger. He wants the Logans' land because it was originally property of the Granger family and the Logans took it from them.
- T.J.: 14-year-old boy who is a friend of Stacey's until he tells the Wallaces that Mama is teaching "inadequately", which causes him to lose the respect of everyone he knows. He becomes friends with Melvin and R.W. Simms who treated him nicely but laugh at him behind his back. He later discovers that they were just using him when it was too late, and went to jail.
- The Wallace family: Run a store on Harlan Granger's land. They are white, racist and violent. They are also responsible for the "Berry's burning".
- Mr.Jamison: A white lawyer who backs Mary Logan's boycott. He is a kind man who kept the Wallaces from hanging T.J. and opposes Harlan Granger.
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