'Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry' Quotes

Quotes from Mildred Taylor's award-winning American novel

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Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry is an American novel by Mildred Taylor. Set during the Depression-era, the story centers around the Logan family and their land. The Logans are a black family living in Mississippi and the novel focuses on the survival of the Logans and their peers in the face of racism. 

In 1977, the novel won the Newbery Medal, which is an award for exceptional literature for American children. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry received critical acclaim and the social commentary it raises remains an enduring topic in American society. 

Here are a few quotes that exemplify the novel's themes of racism and culture during the 1930s.

Chapter 1

  • "Look out there, Cassie girl. All that belongs to you. You ain't never had to live on nobody's place but your own and long as I live and the family survives, you'll never have to."

Chapter 2

  • "Papa always meant what he said—and he swung a mean switch."

Chapter 3

  • "It's them again. They's ridin' tonight."

Chapter 4

  • "Friends gotta trust each other, Stacey, 'cause ain't nothin' like a true friend."
  • "The Wallaces did that, children. They poured kerosene over Mr. Berry and his nephews and lit them afire."

Chapter 5

  • "Well, you just get your little black self back over there and wait some more."
  • "No day in all my life had ever been as cruel as this one."

Chapter 6

  • "Big Ma didn't want you hurt. That was the only thing on her mind."

Chapter 7

  • "Seems to me if Stacey's not smart enough to hold onto a good coat, he don't deserve it."
  • "These are things they need to hear, baby. It's their history."
  • "We ain't never gonna lose this land."
  • "We Logans don't have much to do with white folks. You know why? 'Cause white folks mean trouble."
  • "I'm a Southerner, born and bred, but that doesn't mean I approve of all that goes on here, and there are a lot of other white people who feel the same."

Chapter 8

  • "I expect you'd best just forget about teaching altogether."
  • "Got me better friends than y'all! They give me things and treat me like I'm a man."

Chapter 10

  • "He's got a need to show us where we stand in the scheme of things. He's got a powerful need to do that."

Chapter 11

  • "We want that thieving, murdering nigger of y'all's."
  • "Y'all decide to hold court out here tonight?"

Chapter 12

  • "There's smoke coming from my forest yonder!"
  • "What happened to T.J. in the night I did not understand, but I knew that it would not pass. And I cried for those things which had happened in the night and would not pass."