Chapter 20

  1. This chapter opens with a description of the dawn. Addie Ann says, “From my seat on the swing, I see the sky’s the soft blue it only turns fall mornings. A few stars still sparkle. And right about now, the world seems half-asleep, stuck in a place where everything’s all right and everyone who should be in it is.” Write a descriptive paragraph about your favorite time of day.
  2. Was it a good idea for Addie Ann to skip school and go to the picking? Why or why not?
  3. While the black Kuckachookians march down the edge of the field, they sing a song called “We Shall Overcome.” This is called a freedom song. During the civil rights movement, the black protesters often sang these songs. Why do you think music was such a big part of the movement?

Going deeper:

Click here to listen to freedom songs that were recorded during the civil rights movement. Click on the link and scroll down to “Track Listing.” Then click on the arrow icons on the left.

In chapter 20, the reverend describes a protest that happened in Jackson, Mississippi. He says that even though it was against the law, “Negro college students stood up by trying to eat at a white lunch counter while white customers threw ketchup on them and beat them bloody.”

In fact, for three hours, black and white college students and their Native American professor staged a sit-in. They were attacked by a mob of two hundred white people, including many high school students. Click here to see a picture of the incident.

Why do you think the white college students and their Native American professor participated? Have you ever put your own well-being on the line to stand up for someone else? When?


Lunch counter sit-in. Jackson, Mississippi, 1963.


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