Deborah Wills and Natalie Whitman

First Encounters

Sunny and Gillette are white American kids who live in Greenwood, Mississippi in 1966. Sunny’s father married Gillette’s mother, and together their families are black civil right supporters. Revolution By Deborah Wills tells a story about the discriminations and racism black people faced turning 1663-1964, and how their families help them fight the injustices.

The story follows the life of Gillette, Sunny and Raymond. Raymond is a black adolescent boy who encounters many obstacles for being black, especially in Mississippi. Sunny and Gillette form a friendship with Raymond and help him in difficult situations. One turning point in the book is when, blacks are allowed to attend public places, such as a movie theater. Raymond, is brave enough to take a chance and watch a movie, thinking nothing bad will happen. Yet, the exact opposite happens. Throughout the movie, white kids are abusive by throwing bottles and popcorn at him. Raymond then slips of his chair, and falls on his knees causing cuts, forcing him to leave the theatre. Even though blacks were given a tiny bit of freedom, such as going to public places, they are still not free as they want to be.

This story leads up to the big day for all black Americans known as Freedom day. Freedom day was when all backs had the right to register to vote. Most black people were terrified of physical violence if they lined up to register. Raymond was not one of the lucky ones to see this historical event. Sadly he was shot in the head and died. The main theme in this book, is the road to freedom for black people in the South during the 1960’s.


Sunny, one of the main characters in the book Revolution by Deborah Wiles is determined.One night Sunny is in the pool with her step brother Gillette celebrating their one year “anniversary” and she ran into some trouble. While Sunny is swimming she touches something. Something alive. All of a sudden a cop comes to get them in trouble for “trespassing” and she catches a glimpse what her case is a colored boy. The boy runs away before the cop gets to the pool and before anyone sees him, except for Sunny. Sunny is the protagonist going against the antagonist which in this case would be the colored boy. She is always talking to her brother about finding this boy, she is determined to find out where he came from and who he is. “What about the kid in the pool?” I ask before he can walk away. “What about him?” “I don't know anything about him,” I say, but I was wondering who he was.” pg. 110. This shows that Sunny wants to know who this kid is and wants to know more about him.

Blast From the Past

IN Revolution, on page 441 it says “Gillette slips in some comic books from the rack in the back. I grab a copy of Look magazine and True Romance.” Look magazine and True Romance were very popular magazines in the 50’s and 60’s. On page 421 it says “I kick off my Keds and peel of my socks and crawl under the cover of Polly’s double bed.” Keds were shoes that were common in the 60’s. “I said I wasn't feeling well, which I'm not - watched The Flintstones, The Donna Reed Show and My Three Sons.” That quote was on page 423. The Flintstones, The Donna Reed show and My Three Sons were around in the 60’s. On page 442 It says “Things go better with COKE,” as the coke slogan in the 60’s.

Future and Past

  • Malcolm X, a black nationalist is assassinated on February 21, 1965.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4th 1968
  • In 1983 Guion Bluford Jr. was the first African American in Space. He

took off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida on August 30.

  • The first race riots in decades erupt in south central Los Angeles after a jury acquits four white police officers for the videotaped beating of African-American Rodney King (April 29).
  • Colin Powell becomes the first African American secretary of state in 2001.
  • Halle Berry becomes the first African American to win an Oscar for best actress. She won for her role in Monster’s Ball in 2002
  • In 2005, Condoleezza Rice becomes the first black female U.S. Secretary of State.
  • On November 4th, 2008 Barrack Obama becomes the first African American president of the U.S
  • In 2015 the 114 congress includes 46 black members in the house of Representatives and two Senate.