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Characters / Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

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     The Logan Family 

Paul-Edward Logan

Paul-Edward is the product of a relationship between Georgia plantation owner Edward Logan and one of his slaves, Deborah. After realizing that he cannot flourish as the coloured son of a white man, he sets out to pursue his own destiny, eventually settling in Mississippi. He is David and Hammer's father, as well as Caroline's husband.

  • Ambiguously Brown: It's mentioned a few times that people have a hard time figuring out "just what he is". At one point in The Land, he's able to pass for a white man and it saves him and Mitchell from being murdered by a mob.
  • Born into Slavery: He's two when freedom comes.
  • Call to Agriculture: He is an experienced and skilled horseman and a master carpenter, either of which could have made him a decent living, but he just wants to be a farmer.
  • Determinator: If he wants something, he will find a way to get it no matter who stands in his way.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: He and Mitchell fall for the same girl, Caroline, but he gracefully bows out since Mitchell speaks for her first. Mitchell's tragic death cuts their marriage short, and Paul-Edward and Caroline eventually end up getting married themselves.
  • Love at First Sight: Has this reaction upon seeing Caroline for the first time.
  • The Narrator: Of The Land, which functions as an origin story to the rest of the series.
  • Mixed Race: One quarter Native American, one quarter black and half white.
  • Second Love: To Caroline, after Mitchell's death.

Edward Logan

Paul-Edward's father, a Georgia plantation owner. He owned slaves before the war, and one of those slaves was Paul-Edward's mother, Deborah, who he took a liking to despite being married with children of his own.

  • Parents as People: He tries to treat all of his children equally as best as he can, but he also can't change the racism in society at large, nor can he fully protect his children from it.

Deborah Logan

Paul-Edward's mother.

Cassie Logan

Paul-Edward's sister. His granddaughter, the narrator of most of the other books, is named for her.

  • Child Naming Request: She names her first daughter Emmaline at her mother Deborah's request. When her mother passes away shortly afterward, she and Paul-Edward both realize how much Emmaline resembles Deborah, and thus Cassie decides to add Deborah to Emmaline's name.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: A trait she passes on to the younger Cassie Logan.

Caroline 'Big Ma' Logan

The mother of David and Hammer, mother-in-law of Mary and grandmother of Stacey, Cassie, Christopher-John and Little Man. Caroline is a part-time healer who is kind but firm with the children.

  • Bully Hunter: The first time Paul-Edward sees her, she chastises a group of white boys for bullying a young black boy.
  • Cool Old Lady
  • Establishing Character Moment: Her introduction in The Land; she catches a group of white boys bullying a black boy, chases them off, then gives the black boy one of the pies that she's supposed to be selling to make him feel better.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: Her beauty as a teenager is elaborated on in The Land.
  • Never Mess with Granny: The incident where she brings a Winchester rifle out from under her bed to protect the kids from the Wallaces.
  • Second Love: Paul-Edward is this for her, after Mitchell's death in The Land.

David 'Papa' Logan

The son of Caroline, husband of Mary, brother to Hammer and father to Stacey, Cassie, Christopher-John and Little Man. He starts off in Louisiana laying railroad track, but comes home during the book.

Hammond 'Hammer' Logan

The son of Big Ma, brother to David, brother-in-law to Mary and uncle to Stacey, Cassie, Christopher-John and Little man. Hammer works in Chicago because he can't stand the attitude of white people in Mississippi to the black population. He visits often.

Mary 'Mama' Logan

The wife of David, daughter-in-law of Caroline, sister-in-law of Hammer and mother of Stacey, Cassie, Christopher-John and Little Man. Mary grew up in The Delta and trained to be a teacher in Jackson before moving to Spokane county to marry David and teach at Great Faith Elementary.

Robert Stacey Logan

Known as Stacey, he is the son of David and Mary, the nephew of Hammer, the grandson of Caroline and the brother of Cassie, Christopher John and Little Man. Stacey is just now coming into manhood and has a bit more common sense than Cassie, but he is often moody and has a bad taste in friends...

Cassie Deborah Logan

Cassie is the only daughter of David and Mary, the niece of Hammer, the granddaughter of Caroline and the sister of Stacey, Christopher-John and Little Man. Cassie is the narrator of the book who struggles to understand the unfair treatment she and her family receives at the hands of Spokane County's white community.

Christopher-John Logan

Christopher-John is the son of David and Mary, the nephew of Hammer, the grandson of Caroline, and the brother of Stacey, Cassie and Little Man. He is quiet and unassuming and prefers to get along with everybody.

Clayton Chester 'Little Man' Logan

Little Man is the youngest son of David and Mary, the nephew of Hammer, the grandson of Caroline and the brother of Stacey, Cassie and Christopher-John. He is very naive, and always likes to keep meticulously clean.

L.T. Morrison

A man who used to work with David until he got fired for fighting with some white men. David brings him home early in the book to protect the family from night men. He soon becomes part of the family. He is enormously strong and is over seven feet tall.


The Wallace Brothers

Thurston, Dewberry and Kaleb Wallace are three white shopkeepers who rent Land from Harlan Granger. They are responsible for most of the awful things that occur in the book.

Harlan Granger

Granger is a local white man who owns a 6000 acre plantation which borders the Logans' farm. The Logans' farm belonged to his father before the Civil War and he resents that the Logans have it. To that end, he tries various schemes to take their land off them.

Charlie Simms

A local white farmer. He's the father of R.W., Melvin, Lillian-Jean and Jeremy.

R.W. and Melvin Simms



Wade Jamison

Mr. Jamison is the Logans' lawyer. He is the only white man the family respect, because he is the only one they know who does not hold their race against them. He plays a vital role during the climax, where he defends T.J from a lynch mob.

  • Crusading Lawyer: To the detriment of his reputation in the white community.
  • Gentleman and a Scholar: With emphasis on the gentleman part - he is noted as being the only white man to address Caroline and Mary as 'missus'.
  • Nice Guy: Even as a child, he is nothing but friendly to the main characters and has no concern for their skin color.
  • Secret Keeper: The only person apart from the Logans themselves who knows what really caused the fire the night T.J. was almost lynched.
  • Simple Country Lawyer
  • White Guilt: His father and grandfather owned slaves and he feels he must make up for that, even as a child.

T.J. Avery

T.J. is the son of a local sharecropping family with whom the Logans are close friends. He is Stacey's best friend at the beginning of the book, though by the end, his attitude pushes Stacey away.

  • Asshole Victim: Played with at the end; although Cassie has always disliked him, she knows he doesn't deserve what will probably and does befall him.
  • Hypocrite: He snarks at both Cassie and Stacey for "uncle tomming" to Lillian Jean Simms and accepting Jeremy Simms' friendship respectively, but he ends up befriending their older brothers, R.W. and Melvin.
  • Jerkass: Is emphatically NOT a nice person: he has no trouble getting his brother Claude in trouble, framing Stacey for cheating, and even getting Mary fired.
  • Manipulative Bastard
  • Toxic Friend Influence: David and Mary are afraid of T.J. being a bad influence on Stacey.
  • Uncle Tomfoolery: Becomes "friends" with the Simms brothers, though it turns out they just want to frame him for robbery.

Jeremy Simms

A local white teenager. In contrast to the rest of his (massively racist) family, he bears no ill will towards black people whatsoever and, in fact, tries to befriend the Logan children.


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