Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry should be required reading for sixth graders. The book contains suspense and tension between the colored and whites during the 1930’s. Even though the book is unique and strong in its own way, people debate about whether the book must be required reading.
There are many viewpoints about the book; some negative and some positive. However, there are many reasons why the sixth grade should read Milred D. Taylor’s powerful novel. Milred D. Taylor’s novel is a novel that students will learn lessons and gain knowledge from.
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry has three main reasons why it should be required reading for all sixth graders. Students will learn how to treat all people fairly, no matter how are like. Lillian Jean, a white girl, insults Cassie in Strawberry by saying, “You can’t watch where you going, get in the road. Maybe that way you won’t be bumping into decent white folks with your little nasty self. ”(114) Lillian Jean is one of the white people who think that whites are better than colored, and judges her by her appearance which is why she looks down at Cassie and treats her unfairly.
Students also need to know about how America is like in the 1930’s and how other people treat the colored. White men burn John Henry which affects his body, and makes him unable to speak. “But them men dragged him John Henry and Beacon both outa that house, and when old man Berry tried to stop it, they lit him afire with them boys. ”(40) Students need to know the feelings that the colored people have and how hard they try to gain and earn their freedom. Cassie thinks it is unfair that she has to apologize to Lillian Jean when she did not harm her. ‘“But, Mama, it ain’t fair.
I didn’t do nothin’ to that confounded Lillian Jean. How come Mr. Simms went and pushed me like he did? ”’(126) Mr. Morrison’s parents try hard to fight for their freedom, while the white men hurt their family during Mr. Morrison’s childhood. “But my Mr. Morrison’s mama and daddy they loved each other and they loved us children, and that Christmas they fought them demons out of hell like avenging angels of the Lord. ”(149-150) There is an opposing viewpoint, however. Many believe that they are better just by their religion, culture, or looks.