Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

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L.T. Morrison Character Analysis

Papa brings Mr. Morrison to live with the Logans while he’s working on the railroad. Mr. Morrison offers protection because of his huge stature—he’s tall and strong, but quiet and shy with the family, though he comes to regard them as his surrogate household. Mr. Morrison’s mother was killed by “night men” when they decided to burn down his house.

L.T. Morrison Quotes in Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

The Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry quotes below are all either spoken by L.T. Morrison or refer to L.T. Morrison. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Racism Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Puffin Books edition of Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry published in 1991.
Chapter 2 Quotes

“Did the other men get fired?”
“No, ma’am,” answered Mr. Morrison. “They was white.”

Related Characters: Mama (speaker), L.T. Morrison (speaker)
Page Number: 37
Explanation and Analysis:

Papa returns with Mr. Morrison, a black man who was fired from his job for fighting with other men. When Mama briefly questions Mr. Morrison, likely to quickly ascertain his character before granting him the ability to stay in her home as a hired helper, she asks him who was responsible for starting that fight. Mr. Morrison replies that the white men initiated the engagement. As the conversation continues Mr. Morrison also reveals that these men weren't fired--because they were white. Brief instances such as these reveal the ways that racism is implicit and assumed in this society. It creates unfair, yet undeniable, customs which adults acknowledge without words.

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Chapter 4 Quotes

“Sometimes a person’s gotta fight,” he said slowly. “But that store ain’t the place to be doing it. From what I hear, folks like them Wallaces got no respect at all for colored folks and they just think it’s funny when we fight each other. You mama knowed them Wallaces ain’t good folks, that’s why she don’t want y’all down there, and y’all owe it to her and y’allselves to tell her. But I’m gonna leave it up to y’all to decide.”

Related Characters: L.T. Morrison (speaker), Stacey Logan, Mama, The Wallaces
Page Number: 87
Explanation and Analysis:

After Mr. Morrison catches the Logan children observing Stacey fight T.J. at the Wallace store, a place which Papa has forbidden, Mr. Morrison delivers a powerful lesson. He admits that combat can be necessary in confrontation, and in the face of particularly hostile or overpowering circumstances, "sometimes a person's gotta fight." In addition to this general teaching, though, he specifically disciplines the children for going to the Wallace store. Mr. Morrison does not merely support the previously established rule, but he also explains its purpose; the Wallaces are morally questionable and they openly disrespect black individuals. 

Mr. Morrison also indirectly provides a foil to T.J.'s secrecy, when he explains that he will make the Logan children themselves tell Mama about their journey to the Wallace store. Through his actions, he advocates for honest language and forthcoming behavior, providing yet another way that the Logans can strive to differentiate themselves from secrecy, which so often co-exists alongside racial prejudices and violent acts.

Chapter 10 Quotes

Mr. Morrison lowered his eyes and looked around the room until his gaze rested on the boys and me. “I ain’t ever had no children of my own. I think sometimes if I had, I’d’ve wanted a son and daughter just like you and Mr. Logan…and grandbabies like these babies of yours…”

Related Characters: L.T. Morrison (speaker), Cassie Logan, Stacey Logan, Little Man, Christopher-John Logan, L.T. Morrison
Page Number: 226
Explanation and Analysis:
Kaleb Wallace attempts to use his truck to block Mr. Morrison, as Morrison drives the wagon back to the Logans' house after helping the neighbor Mr. Wiggins sow seeds one day. After Morrison physically moves the Wallaces' truck and begins to depart, Wallace threatens to kills Morrison. Once Mama hears this story, she fears that Morrison will be killed because of his association with her family, and she seems about to ask him to leave them. Desperately, Mr. Morrison asks to stay, and he even reveals that he always wanted children like the Logan children. This scene does not only emphasize Morrison's admirable strength and devotion to the Logan family; it also suggests that Morrison has stayed with the family for much of the narrative because he personally needs to. Even individuals without children of their own might be moved to focus their lives around familial sentiment and dedication; in Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, these intimate bonds trump all else.
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L.T. Morrison Character Timeline in Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

The timeline below shows where the character L.T. Morrison appears in Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2
Racism Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Injustice and Dignity Theme Icon
...she sent Papa a letter recently. Papa has brought a giant man back with him— Mr. Morrison , who was fired from his last job for getting in a fight with white... (full context)
Chapter 4
Family and Community Theme Icon
Cassie and her younger brothers, Christopher-John and Little Man, take to Mr. Morrison immediately, asking Mama if they can visit Mr. Morrison in the shed out back where... (full context)
Racism Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Injustice and Dignity Theme Icon
...Stacey finds T.J., and they start to fight. However, before the fight gets very serious, Mr. Morrison appears and breaks it up. Cassie explains the situation to Mr. Morrison on the way... (full context)
Land as Independence Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Storytelling and Language Theme Icon
As the Logan children and Mr. Morrison approach the house, Mr. Granger’s Packard pulls out of the driveway. Big Ma says that... (full context)
Chapter 6
Racism Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Injustice and Dignity Theme Icon
...confront Charlie Simms, and he says he has a gun. Mama sends Stacey to find Mr. Morrison . Just as Uncle Hammer starts the car, Mr. Morrison jumps into the passenger side,... (full context)
Racism Theme Icon
Injustice and Dignity Theme Icon
...Lillian Jean “Miss” doesn’t mean Cassie really respects her. Cassie worries what will happen if Mr. Morrison can’t stop Uncle Hammer from going after Mr. Simms, but Mama just tells her that... (full context)
Family and Community Theme Icon
Injustice and Dignity Theme Icon
The next morning, Mr. Morrison and Uncle Hammer are at the table eating breakfast and look like they haven’t slept... (full context)
Chapter 7
Racism Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Injustice and Dignity Theme Icon
Storytelling and Language Theme Icon
...funny, like the story about Papa and Uncle Hammer stealing watermelons from a neighbor, but Mr. Morrison tells a tragic one. He talks about the night his family was killed by night... (full context)
Chapter 8
Injustice and Dignity Theme Icon
...textbook. The children walk home with Mama after school that day, and Mama tells Papa, Mr. Morrison , and Big Ma what happened when they arrive. (full context)
Family and Community Theme Icon
Injustice and Dignity Theme Icon
...money. Papa says they’ll figure something out, and Mama nods and goes out to walk. Mr. Morrison offers to take a job, but Papa says that he’d rather Mr. Morrison stay around... (full context)
Chapter 9
Family and Community Theme Icon
...she can’t change Papa’s mind, and he goes to Vicksburg on Wednesday with Stacey and Mr. Morrison . (full context)
Family and Community Theme Icon
...but then they hear a sound outside, and Mama runs out to meet the men. Mr. Morrison is carrying Papa in his arms, and he sends Stacey inside first. Mr. Morrison says... (full context)
Racism Theme Icon
Injustice and Dignity Theme Icon
...were returning from Vicksburg, someone had sabotaged their wagon and the wheels came off. While Mr. Morrison and Papa were trying to fix it, a truck drove up behind them. They didn’t... (full context)
Chapter 10
Racism Theme Icon
Injustice and Dignity Theme Icon
...they can. It’s too dangerous for Big Ma to go to the market in Strawberry. Mr. Morrison has been out looking for work every morning, even though Papa says that he won’t... (full context)
Racism Theme Icon
Injustice and Dignity Theme Icon
Cassie hears Mr. Morrison coming up the drive and runs out to meet him. He says that he’s heading... (full context)
Land as Independence Theme Icon
Injustice and Dignity Theme Icon
Mr. Morrison returns from Strawberry one day with a note that their mortgage is due immediately. Papa... (full context)
Chapter 11
Racism Theme Icon
Injustice and Dignity Theme Icon
Cassie is in bed, listening to Mr. Morrison singing a spiritual that begins with “Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry.” It’s another hot... (full context)
Racism Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Injustice and Dignity Theme Icon
...respond that they’ll do the hanging on the road, and they suggest that Papa and Mr. Morrison be hanged as well. Cassie, Christopher-John, and Little Man run to tell Papa while Stacey... (full context)
Chapter 12
Family and Community Theme Icon
...her that he’ll do what he has to, and so will she. Then he and Mr. Morrison leave the house. (full context)
Land as Independence Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...T.J. over to Mr. Jamison, and everyone went to put out the fire. Papa and Mr. Morrison arrive home now, followed by Mr. Jamison. Mr. Jamison reports that Mr. Barnett has died... (full context)