Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry is a 1976 novel by Mildred D. Taylor, sequel to her 1975 novella Song of the Trees. It is a book about racism in America. The novel won the 1977 Newbery Medal. It is followed by two more sequels, Let the Circle Be Unbroken (1981), The Road to Memphis (1990), and a prequel to the Logan family saga, The Land (2001).
This popular novel explores life in southern Mississippi, in "The South", during the Depression - when racism was still common and many were persecuted for the color of their skin. The 'Berry Burnings' mentioned in the first chapter-and beyond-and Mr. Tatum who was tarred and feathered in the fourth chapter, are prime examples of the racism that still existed, with people taking the law into their own hands, at the expense of the black population.
Throughout this novel the reader learns about the importance of land and the effects of racism, at the same time as Cassie Logan (the narrator) learns 'the way things are'. It is key to this story that the narrator is a child as it adds emphasis upon what it was like to grow up in "The South", and it also helps the reader to understand the true impact of racism at this time.