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Readers (#1) respond to:

In Praise of Toni Cade Bambara
by Alice Lovelace

Dear Ms. Lovelace,

We enjoyed your poem about Toni Bambara in which you praise the work of this great writer. Recently, in English class, we read "Blues 'Ain't No Mockin Bird." We learned about the characterization in the story and we want to share our knowledge with you.

One of the characters we learned about was Grandpa. Through Bambara's description of him looking like a king, with large hands, and wearing workboots, it showed that he's a powerful, strong, hardworking man who deserves respect. We also think he is a soft-spoken, gentle, wise man who is protective of his family. We determined this through his speech, appearance, actions, and the feelings of the other characters. He is shown to be calm when he exposes the film of the camera instead of trashing the camera.

We think Grandma is an outspoken, aggressive woman who is frustrated with the cameramen, who are described as looking like wolves. She is a strong-willed, protective, sensitive person.

Finally, we come to Cathy, who is playful, enthusiastic, and also moody and inconsiderate. She is also sometimes not likeable, and acts like she knows everything -- we see this mostly through her speech and actions.

We read the poem you wrote about Toni Bambara, and we think you're saying the world is broken because of prejudice and racism. We also agree that Toni Bambara's books help to mend the world, because she points out the things that other people can't see.


The Willamina High School Class of 2000
Willamina, Oregon

Return to: In Praise of Toni Cade Bambara

Published in In Motion Magazine November 11, 1996