Miss Emma confronted Grant with his lie. We also learned that she was forced to hit Jefferson because he kept saying that he was a hog. Miss Emma and Tante Lou tell Grant to go back, but Grant says that all Jefferson does is try and make him feel guilty, just like he does when Miss Emma visits him. Grant goes back to visit Jefferson and "sizes up" the deputy. We find out that the deputy is actually a decent guy. He introduces himself as Paul and says that they might as well call each other by name. Paul tells Grant how Jefferson is doing, and says that he'll treat him well, and do his duty. Grant responds that he feels the same way. Paul is saying that he will fulfill his responsibility and Grant realizes he needs to do the same thing. It's interesting that it took a white man to get Grant to realize this.
Today we read a poem about responsibility and discussed how it is linked to the book. We agreed that they both deal with people who are trying to come to terms with their responsibility. Responsibility that they did not want and was forced on them. It is very important to keep this in mind and watch Grant and Jefferson as they deal with their unwanted responsibilities.
In class today we discussed the importance of heroes and how the black population looked up to people like Joe Louis and Jackie Robinson who were black athletes that were successful. They were a source of pride for the black people. They could look up to them and in a way worshipped them. Grant wonders if Jefferson will call out to Jackie Robinson when he's executed.
We saw what it was like to visit Jefferson and the humiliation that Grant had to go through. Jefferson hasn't been too talkative during the visits and only wants to talk about his execution.
One day Grant goes to pick up Miss Emma but finds that she is pretending to be sick so that he has to go to the jailhouse by himself. Grant realizes that this was the plan from the start, and he yells at the two women. He is disappointed because his aunt sent him to university so that he did not have to act this way. He tells her everything she wanted him to become is being taken from him and that Mr. Antoine was right. Miss Emma says that they would've asked someone else if they had anyone else to ask.
We discussed the similarities and differences between Grant's school and CHS. The lists that we came up with were great and showed that the schools are very different and only have a few similarities.
We also met Mr. Antoine, Grant's old teacher. He told his students to run, that was their only option. Grant reflects on his classmates who proved the old man right. They went away and died in other cities or killed others or just went somewhere and died slowly. Mr. Antoine hates Grant, because Grant wanted to learn and make a better life for himself. Antoine feels superior to Grant because he is a light skinned mulatto. Grant asks him if that's why he hates him and Antoine says yes because someone else told Antoine he was just as bad as Grant. The South had a hierarchy based on skin color. The lighter your skin the better off you were.
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The superintendent, Dr. Joseph, visits the school and inspects the students. He is a fat, lazy, out of shape man that has trouble walking up the three steps in front of the church and getting into and out of his car. He does not want to be at the school and it is very evident.
He quizzes one student from each grade and inspects their mouths. Grant comments that he learned that that was exactly what slave masters used to do. Dr. Joseph continually makes comments that refer to slavery. He tells the students that hard work and exercise are good for them and that they should pick cotton, gather potatoes, and be put out in the field to earn money for toothbrushes. This is very ironic because Dr. Joseph is fat and out of shape.
Grant asks for some help with supplies and Dr. Joseph tells him that all the schools are suffering, even the white ones. Grant knows that the white schools are not nearly as bad as his school, but does not respond, which angers Dr. Joseph fur
Grant runs his classroom with an iron fist. He hits his students to try and correct behavior. He is very frustrated with his situation and takes it out on the children.
Grant goes to Mr. Henri's to talk with the sheriff. The white men are betting on whether or not they think Grant will succeed with Jefferson. Grant is forced to wait for two and a half hours and when he finally has the chance to talk with Sheriff Guidry he knows that he has to walk a fine line between being the intelligent man he is, and the poor unintelligent black man that the white men expect him to be. Guidry decides he will allow Grant to visit Jefferson but that if he is aggravated then the visits will end.
Today we discussed the importance of Pichot's backdoor, and what it means for Grant to walk through it once more. He has lived all his life on this plantation and always entered through the backdoor, because blacks were not allowed to use the front door. When he went off to university Tante Lou told him he never had to go through that door again. This meant that he was going to be better than that; he was equal to Mr. Pichot and should not be ashamed or allow himself to be put down.
Grant is upset at his aunt for making him walk through that door after ten years. He does not want to be there and he shows his frustration by not acting how Mr. Pichot expect. It is his way of standing up for himself.
Hey guys! Today we talked about what it was like to live in the South in the 1940's. It was much different for black people than it was for white folks. Almost everything was segregated, or separated based on skin color. There were separate bathrooms, churches, schools, drinking fountains, bars, clubs, movie theaters, etc. Black people were looked down on and made to feel inferior to white people, and the white people always felt like they were better than the black people.
In the book we found out that Jefferson has been convicted of murder and robbery and will be executed. Everyone knew that this was going to happen, because a white man was dead and a black man was there. It didn't matter that Jefferson was innocent and just in the wrong place at the wrong time. His godmother, Miss Emma, did not like that Jefferson's defense attorney called him a hog and wants Grant, a school teacher, to help him become a man.