REVOLUTION

Deborah Wiles and Ava Gargiulo

Two Different People That Get Caught In Each Others Lives

Segregation against African-Americans in the 1960s was a cruel thing. Segregation is the main theme in the book Revolution by Deborah Wiles. Revolution takes place in Greenwood, Mississippi in 1964 during the Freedom Summer when people from the North were going down to the South to help register black voters. Many whites in Greenwood were very angry about this and want to get rid of the invaders. The two narrators of the story are 12 year old Sunny Fairchild, the adventurous white girl and 14 year old Raymond “Ray” Bullis, the brave colored boy. At first they live separate lives, but then they came into contact with each other. Sunny lives with her father, stepmother, and step siblings, Gillette and Audrey. She doesn’t like having to share her space with people that she thinks aren’t even really her family though.


In life, one has to deal with many different types of conflicts. Sunny is facing a few conflicts in the book. A conflict she is facing is a character vs. character conflict. Throughout the book, Sunny is trying not to include her stepmother, Annabelle, in her life or family. Annabelle is trying to create a good relationship with her and trying to get to know her, but Sunny is pushing Annabelle away. Ray is facing a character vs. society conflict in the story. Ray is fighting for freedom for African-Americans in Greenwood, Mississippi. He isn’t afraid if people that want to keep segregation against African-Americans try to hurt him, he will do anything for his freedom. He will fight even if people fighting for freedom as well, discourage him because he is putting himself in jeopardy and because he is very young. Ray doesn’t care what anyone else thinks, but that could get him in trouble.


There are many things the characters in the book experienced that were scary and surprising. Everyone is surprised when Annabelle announces she is pregnant and Sunny doesn’t know what to think. She doesn’t even know if she is excited to have a new person in her family. There are also many riots taking place because of the fight for freedom. Sunny’s family is caught in the middle of one and they needed to escape and they luckily did thanks to Sunny. Her family is affected by the riots and protesting. They are confronted with many upsetting things like her dad gets threatening notes because he hires coloreds. People also try to hurt Ray because he does things that they don’t like such as watching a movie in the theater with whites. In the end, Ray survives from getting shot by white men because he wanted segregation. Even though there were many obstacles trying to stop him from getting to the hospital because he was colored, he didn’t die. Despite the difficulties they all had faced, Sunny even built a relationship with Annabelle and also made up with Gillette. She even tried to fix other things like returning a picture of her birth mother to her grandmother and returning books she stole. The Freedom Summer ended and everyone went back up North, but they felt they accomplished a lot and were close to having integration instead of segregation.

Adventure

Sunny is the main character in Revolution and she is the main narrator of the story. She is also one of the protagonists. At 12 years old, she lives with her father, stepmother and siblings in Greenwood, Mississippi. “Invaders” are coming to her town of Greenwood and she doesn’t know why people are making a big deal out of it and why people are getting so mad. She is very curious about what is going on with that and other things and wants to find out.


Sunny is a very adventurous person, she seeks adventure. She does things like sneaking out in the middle of the night to break into the public pool to swim with her brother. Most of her thoughts have to do with adventures. She searches for adventures to go on and she is not afraid of what might happen along the way. Her dad also encourages her to go out and explore new things which gives her even more reason to go out and be adventurous.


Quotes:

“‘Shame on you!’ I fling at him, and we are off. I said I wanted an adventure, and now I’ve got one.” p. 1

“We tiptoe into the summer night, careful not to let the screen door slam behind us.” p. 2

“Only she would understand what it means to want an adventure so badly you can taste it, and how nothing will satisfy you until you get it.” p. 108

“Oh, to have been the littlest Carr kid, off on that adventure!”p. 122

“‘I want to know the mysteries,’ I say. ‘Don’t you ever dream about running away from home on an adventure to find...I don’t know...to discover something?” p. 128.

“But Sunny is willful, like her mother. Instead of crushing into a circumspect box, like Miranda’s parents did, squeezing, hammering, choking her with rules until she just had to pop, Jamie will allow his daughter her adventures.” p. 167

“I can keep an eye on this Jo Ellen and see what she’s up to, follow her if I have to. I think to myself, I am going to follow the invaders.” p. 170

“But I can’t be seen. Even though I’m not supposed to trespass, I run through the laundry hanging on Mrs. Moxie’s line, around the chicken house and old Mr. Fenton’s backyard, and behind the hedgerow into Polly’s yard, to mine.” p. 170

“I feel great. A thrill of freedom rushes through me, pulses in my temples” p. 171

“I read every book about adventure I could find.” p. 223

“I’m having an adventure, too, a real adventure, right here in Greenwood, Mississippi.” p. 371

“‘Did you ever want to go far away from here, on an adventure?’” p. 376

Historical Hints

1. In Revolution the author tells us what life was like during the time period of the 1960’s by referencing things that show segregation. For example, there are pools and churches for whites only and blacks only and the ones for whites are much nicer. Characters in the book also are trying to register to be able to vote. Some people are very against the “invaders” coming, some don’t care, and a few help them.

2. Another thing that is different about the time period and can help us tell that it is in the 1960’s is how much money is worth. For example, a dollar now is worth much less than a dollar back then. In the story, people get payed for what seems like nothing to us today for a lot of hard work but it is actually worth the same amount because things cost less.

3. The Beatles were also big in the 1960’s. Some of the characters in the book love them so much and buy all of The Beatles records right when they come out, they even dream of marrying them. This represents what a lot of teens thought back then about them.

4. There are also old songs that characters sang that show us that the book takes place in the 1960’s. Kids also watched different TV shows and movies and played different games. Another thing is the items that they had that we no longer use usually like the typewriter and types of radios. The characters also referred to people that were alive during that time period.


Quotes:

SEGREGATION

“Run past the Cotton Boll where you can’t eat the hamburger because you colored.” p. 54

“that pool for white folks” p. 54

“‘We got us a Freedom Righter!...’” p. 63

“being sent here by various civil rights organizations to register our black brethren to vote.” p. 83

“‘She said they’re all dirty, every one of them!’ adds Meemaw. ‘They don’t bathe. The boys have scruffy beards. They all wear sandals. They are communists, that’s what they are. Sinners at the very least.’” p. 90

“‘And we’re not going to Colored Town to find out who he is!’” p. 111

“‘White folks drive by the Freedom House with paper bags over their license plates so you can’t know ‘em,’...’they bombed the last Freedom House.’” p. 113

“Mr. Beckwith came back to town from his trial, earlier this month after being found not guilty- twice!- of the murder of that colored man in Jackson.” p. 115

“Civil Righters are canvassing whole neighborhoods over there, trying to register the coloreds to vote in the presidential election in November.” p. 122

“I see a colored boy across the street all by himself. He’s just standing there… ‘what you lookin’ at, boy? You got some business to attend to over here all by yourself?’ … ‘No, sir!’ … ‘Then you best git on home!’” p. 124

“‘Why can’t we children come to Bible School?’ … ‘They have their own church to attend,’ … ‘Is your church segregated?’” p. 156

“I have never thought about colored kids don’t go to white churches. They just don’t. I think Ms. Murchison is right; they have their own churches. Why would they want to come to ours?” p. 159

“‘If you had the vote, Wilson, you could make sure nobody else dies like your Adele did. She needed a doctor, and nobody at that white hospital would touch her-’” p. 177

“‘You’ve reached your limit of coloreds coming down here to register today! The registrar’s office is closed this afternoon!’” p. 181

“I still don’t understand why the Negroes need to vote and can’t have it, why the white people are so upset, why the police are so strange, what the unrest is about, and why the agitators are here.” p. 206

“‘For one hundred years, slavery has been illegal, and yet we are still slaves!’” p. 219

“Chief Lary shouted through a megaphone at the pickets and told them they couldn’t be more than ten people- I counted seventeen… Then a bunch of other policemen came out and arrested some of them… I saw another white minister, too. Neither of them were arrested.” p. 228

“a minister in Cleveland, Ohio got crushed to death under a bulldozer ‘cause he was standin’ there, with a bunch of other folks, tryin’ to stop that bulldozer from building a segregated school...a school just for white kids.” p. 231

“I understand what it’s like to lose your freedom and be in exile.” p. 237

“A Negro taxi goes by with a Negro maid in it” p .239

“‘We’ve always done it this way - separate but equal, and everybody’s happy - so why change it?’” p. 247

“‘And to think all this has happened because of those Civil Righters and their holier-than-thou ways! They’re stirring up everybody...’” p. 252

“‘It’s all about the Negroes. They want to be in the talent show, they want to vote. Same thing. they never wanted to do these things before….’” p. 253

“We been skipping Freedom House to play ball at the colored field until dark….We don’t got teams like the white kids do” p. 257

“Another man says theres a colored balcony at the Paramount and that should be good enough for any Negro. I know about the Paramount. I don’t like to go there. It smells and they don’t show good movies.” p. 261

“New law say anybody can swim at the white folks pool, if they open it up again. New law makin’ people happy, but I say, let’s prove it.” p. 256

“‘What are you doing, boy?’ Mr. Martini asks him. ‘I came to the movies,’ High-top says. ‘You picked the wrong theater.’ ‘You sold me a ticket,’ says High-top. ‘Law says you have to do that.’ ‘The law might say so, but this crowd thinks otherwise,’ says Mr. Martini. ‘How are you going to get out of here?’ ‘I call the police,’ says Parnell, ‘One of the colored cab companies will come get him.’” p. 269

“they arrest High-top. ‘I got a right to be here,’ he protests, his chin sticking out. ‘Law says I can come in here.’ Deputy Davis says, ‘The law don’t say you can disturb the peace, boy, and that’s what you’re doing.’...’I didn’t do anything.’” p. 270

“My mama ironed for Miz Davis for ten years until she lost her job tryin’ to register, and he don’t know me, don’t know my name, don’t care.” p. 277

“We recognize the Civil Rights bill asca mislabeled, unconstitutional, freedom-destroying, vicious, and un-American piece of legislation and we do not intend to obey it under any circumstances.” p. 183

“‘July, our good relations with our Negroes is fast disappearing,’ says Meemaw. ‘Nobody trusts anybody anymore.’...’Out Negroes are frightened and confused,’ says Meemaw. ‘They no more want to mix with the whites than we want to mix with them. They have no ambitions to be bank presidents or lawyers and such, and they couldn’t do those jobs if they wanted to - they’re not suited to them. They can’t learn like we can….’ ‘I believe whites are frightened and confused,’ says Annabelle. ‘Aren’t you, Eloise?’” p. 302

“‘If whites weren’t frightened, they wouldn’t be arresting teenage Negro boys and taking them to jail when they’ve not broken the law,’” p. 303

“‘Our laws are not the same as their laws.’” p. 303

“‘...Is this a schoolbook from a white school?’... ‘The history of America begins in England. All Americans come from Europe.’” p. 307

“A white girl laughs at something a Negro boy says, and then they hug each other. I blink at the sight.” p. 312

“A colored girl sits at a huge, heavy desk, typing on a huge, heavy typewriter. I have never seen a colored girl with a typing job.” p. 331

“‘Yes, we are registering voters - black and white - for the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, which is an alternative to the all-white Mississippi Democratic Party, which will not allow Negroes a voice or vote.’...”Negroes cannot vote, period, in Mississippi - or Alabama, or in Georgia, or in most states in the American South.’” p. 333

“‘Let’s go watch the ball game at the white folks’ field,’ I tell him. ‘They don’t let us,’ say Twill. ‘New law say we can just waltz in and sit on those seats, free as we please,’” p. 339

“‘It’s whites. They don’t want the teatre selling tickets to coloreds.’” p. 344

“KEEP GREENWOOD SEGREGATED! DEFEND STATES” RIGHTS! DO NOT CROSS PICKET LINE! DO NOT PATRONIZE LEFLORE THEATRE! OWNERS ARE COMMUNISTS! … COONS GO TO THIS THEATER” p. 363-364

“‘I’ve been in jail for weeks at a time, and so have many of you. Same Block and Willie Peacock we shot at in front of the freedom House one night as they were parked. White men drove close by the car, took a shotgun and blasted through the windows, and luckily no one in the car was injured. Whites do this because they’re afraid of us! But we’re not going anywhere.’ Willie Peacock says, ‘There’s not a night that the police don’t trail us. They don’t like us, But they’re convinced now that Sam Block is going to stay in Greenwood, and so am I, Willie Peacock, just like we had said, until we get satisfactory number of Negroes registered to vote….’” p. 379-380

“‘I want to vote and I want to be able to say who I want in office and what I feel about it, and if one in office that beats Negroes over the head, I want to put ‘em out! We are willing to die for it. So our children and our children’s children may live.’” p. 381


These quotes connect to the time period of the book because they show peoples’ thoughts toward coloreds. Most of these thoughts are very negative and that is different from what it is like now. Coloreds were also not allowed to do things or go to different places that whites could in the book too, unlike now where they have equal rights.


MONEY WORTH

“Half the team is saving for a pair of high-tops. Eight dollars is hard to come by.” p. 111

“Back from moving bricks all day with Twill at a white man’s house in town - got me a dollar” p. 190

“Miss Vidella hand me two dollars. ‘This is to pay Mr. Lee at his store, for sending over the ice and the lemonade tonight….’” p. 265

“I go to the movies….I shove a dollar of Mr. Lee’s money under the glass. Man shake his head, but he give me back a ticket and seven cents.” p. 266

“his windas so dirty...He told me to clean ‘em for fifty cents” p. 338

“Told me he’d give me another fifty cents if I mopped the floors and cleaned the outhouse” p. 338

“‘Then go home and get your dollar and meet me at the movie house!’’ p. 339

“‘They can’t make their three fifty a day while they’re in jail,’” p. 389

“I found thirteen cents in the basket, too. I left it there. It might come in handy.” p. 420


These quotes connect to the time period of the book because the worth of money now has gone down compared to back then. While eight dollars doesn’t seem like a lot of money now, it was a significant amount of money in the 60s.


THE BEATLES

“‘I got the new album last week. It’s called The Beatles Second Album.’” p.88

“It was toasty warm in frosty February when we first dubbed it George, after we saw the Beatles on Ed Sullivan.” p. 117

“What can I say to a girl who really believes Paul McCartney is going to show up on her doorstep.” p. 119

“The Beatles start to sing ‘This Boy’” p. 123

“‘Another new album! This month! And the movie in August!’” p. 227

“we both laugh at how well we’ve memorized the songs from A Hard Day’s Night. Polly’s mother sighs. ‘I think I may go crazy before these Beatles are over.’ ‘They’ll never be over!’” p. 300

“‘My little sister loves the Beatles!’ says Joe Ellen. ‘She has all their records.’” p. 418

“‘Any more Paul stories?’ which thrills Polly to her toes. We go upstairs to her room and listen to the Beatles” p. 421


These quotes connect to the time period of the book because the Beatles were very big back then and everyone adored them. They were also still making records unlike now, when two of them are already dead and when it is rare to hear their songs on the radio. They still are very well known though.


OLD SONGS/GAMES/TV SHOWS/MOVIES/OBJECTS/PEOPLE etc.

“Audrey marches into the room singing ‘I’ve Been Working on the Railroad’” p. 75

“here comes Audrey skipping through the living room and into the dining room singing ‘Tina the Ballerina’” p. 93

“Annabelle lies down with Audrey and sings her ‘Tammy’” p. 107

“The transistor radio” p. 109

“Polly and I have papered the walls with pages torn from 16 Magazine.” p.117

“Mary Ann Mobley, who went on to become Miss America.” p. 118

“two brothers and two sisters playing rummy and Old Maid” p. 121

“watching Ted Mack and Amateur Hour on television” p. 121

“personally I think she tacked the Fitzgerald onto her name last year after President Kennedy’s assassination” p. 121

“Mary Margaret's long list of New York City amazments - the Empire State Building! The Statue of Liberty! Chinatown! The World’s Fair!” p. 122

“writing on the Teletype” p.122

“Polly fiddles with the record player, The Beatles start to sing ‘This Boy’” p. 123

“Mr. Guston will be upstairs in the projection room threading the movie reel through the projector and trying not to fall asleep before the reel needs changing” p. 124

“The movie is A Shot in the Dark.” p. 124

“‘Did you ever want to solve a mystery like those detectives on Hawaiian Eye?’” p. 127

“‘I’ve seen 77 Sunset Strip in summer reruns...’” p. 127

“getting ready to watch Captain Kangaroo” p. 148

“I’m wearing my Keds” p. 174

“Elizabeth Taylor - she gets divorced all the time, but she’s a movie star.” p. 180

“I am like the Incredible Shrinking Man” p. 183

“‘That’s my Lucky Heart perfume!’” p. 191

“Jet magazine.” p. 192

“my stolen copy of Kon-Tiki.” p. 201

“I am reading The Good Earth” p. 211

“I was reading Robinson Crusoe” p. 223

“They’s a story is Ebony” p. 231

“here’s another Hayley Mills movie.” p. 239

“reruns of The Outer Limits on television” p. 262

“his thick, black hair, the way he always slicks it back and has a loopy curl just-so in the front.” p. 263

“The opening to The Moon-Spinners lets me know we’re in an exotic place….and Walt Disney presents in Technicolor.” p. 267

“the most boring television program on the face of the earth - Romper Room” p. 280

“‘Time for Guiding Light,’” p. 304

“A colored girl sits at a huge, heavy desk, typing on a huge, heavy typewriter.” p. 331

“I hide a copy of Captains Courageous in my shorts.” p. 333

“Polly is pretending to read a copy of Aesop’s Fables” p. 334

“‘You see Jet magazine with Cassius Clay and Malcolm X on the cover? Clay change his name to Muhammad Ali, and he a Muslim now.’” p. 338

“‘Through the Looking Glass,’” p. 371

“‘Your grandmother’s making me read The Grapes of Wrath.’” p. 376

“see The Chalk Garden” p. 388

“watched The Flintstones, The Donna Reed Show and My Three Sons” p. 423

“I grab a copy of Look magazine and True Romance.”


These quotes connect to the time period of the book because most people now have never heard of any of these. Back then people knew/had different things that most people don’t know about now.

Turning Points

Civil Rights Timeline

  1. 1967 President Johnson appointed Thurgood Marshall to the Supreme Court. (Thurgood Marshall was the first black Supreme Court Justice. He also won most cases he argued for meaning he was a good justice. If there still had been segregation and discrimination, some rulings might have turned the other way that shouldn’t have.)

  2. 1967 Major race riot took place in Newark (July 12–16) (Many people died and became injured by this riot. The riot started because even after the Civil Rights Act, African-Americans were still treated harshly by people including police, felt that they didn’t have political representation and many other things.)

  3. 1968 April 4(Memphis, Tenn.) Martin Luther King, at age 39, is shot as he stands on the balcony outside his hotel room. (Criminal and racist James Earl Ray was guilty of killing him. Many people mourned over his death because he was a beloved, great civil rights leader.)

  4. 1983 Guion Bluford Jr. was the first African-American in space on August 30. (The spacecraft took off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida and he was in Challenger)

  5. 2002 Halle Berry wins the Best Actress Oscar. (She was the first African-American to win the Best Actress Oscar. She won for her part in Monster’s Ball. An African-American, Denzel Washington also wins the Best Actors Oscar.

  6. 2009 Barack Obama becomes the country's 44th president. (Barack Obama is the country's first African-American president. This was what many civil rights leaders wanted to accomplish when they were fighting for freedom-a colored leader.)


    (Time period of Revolution to present day.)