Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

What is the meaning of "the roll of thunder" in the book roll of thunder hear my cry?

What does the roll of thunder mean (symbolize) in the book Roll Of Thunder Hear My Cry?

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The title is the first line in a Negro spiritual song. The thunder is a metaphor for all the hate and abuse blacks like the Logan's must put up with from certain whites like the Wallaces. The Logans hope God will hear their cries.