American Gods

American Gods

Sam Black Crow Character Analysis

A half-Native American young woman who hitchhikes across the Midwest and meets Shadow during one of his drives away from Whiskey Jack’s house to Cairo. Sam later encounters Shadow in Lakeside while visiting her half-sister, Marguerite, and supports Shadow when his past as a convict is exposed. Sam does not believe in any official pantheon or specific gods, but she does revere the place of belief in human minds and sees the divinity in American life. Her statement of belief is seemingly closest to Gaiman’s own beliefs. She encompasses Buffalo Man’s advice to “believe everything,” and is incredibly tolerant of other people and their beliefs though she has no sympathy for the New Gods and current popular American culture. Sam is also portrayed as either lesbian or bisexual, with a girlfriend named Natalie, increasing her status as someone who embraces diversity and the changing face of America.

Sam Black Crow Quotes in American Gods

The American Gods quotes below are all either spoken by Sam Black Crow or refer to Sam Black Crow. 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:
Mythology, Belief, and Community Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the William Morrow edition of American Gods published in 2013.
Chapter 7 Quotes

"Okay. As soon as they say Odin's name, the reed transforms into a spear and stabs the guy in the side, the calf intestines become a thick rope, the branch becomes a bough of a tree, and the tree pulls up, and the ground drops away, and the king is left hanging there to die with a wound in his side and his face going black. End of story. White people have some fucked-up gods, Mister Shadow."

Related Characters: Sam Black Crow (speaker), Shadow Moon (Baldur), Mr. Wednesday (Odin)
Page Number: 152
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 13 Quotes

"I can believe things that are true and I can believe things that aren't true and I can believe things where nobody knows if they're true or not. I can believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny and Marilyn Monroe… I believe that the future sucks and I believe that the future rocks and I believe that one day White Buffalo Woman is going to come back and kick everyone's ass…”

"Would you believe that all the gods that people have ever imagined are still with us today?"
" …maybe."
“And that there are new gods out there, gods of computers and telephones and whatever, and that they all seem to think there isn't room for them both in the world. And that some kind of war is kind of likely.”

Related Characters: Shadow Moon (Baldur) (speaker), Sam Black Crow (speaker)
Page Number: 348
Explanation and Analysis:
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Sam Black Crow Character Timeline in American Gods

The timeline below shows where the character Sam Black Crow appears in American Gods. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 7
Mythology, Belief, and Community Theme Icon
Deception Theme Icon
Plurality and the Power of the Individual in America Theme Icon
...window, asking if he is all right. Shadow gets out of the car and meets Sam, who clarifies that she is a girl Sam, not a boy Sam. Sam says she’s... (full context)
Deception Theme Icon
The Sacredness of American Land Theme Icon
Sam asks Shadow why he went to prison. Shadow explains that he hurt some people badly,... (full context)
Mythology, Belief, and Community Theme Icon
Deception Theme Icon
Plurality and the Power of the Individual in America Theme Icon
As they eat, Sam asks Shadow what he does. Shadow tells Sam that he is going to Cairo to... (full context)
Mythology, Belief, and Community Theme Icon
Deception Theme Icon
Shadow and Sam finish eating and pay. While walking out to the car, Shadow asks Sam if she’s... (full context)
Mythology, Belief, and Community Theme Icon
Life, Death, Desire, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Plurality and the Power of the Individual in America Theme Icon
The Sacredness of American Land Theme Icon
Sam begins to tell her favorite story about gods: a Viking king who decides to sacrifice... (full context)
Mythology, Belief, and Community Theme Icon
Deception Theme Icon
Plurality and the Power of the Individual in America Theme Icon
Shadow stops in El Paso and makes sure that Sam gets safely into her aunt’s house before driving away. Shadow keeps driving, until at 11... (full context)
Meanwhile. A Conversation.
Mythology, Belief, and Community Theme Icon
Change and Growth Theme Icon
A man in a suit named Mr. Town knocks on Sam Black Crow’s door. When Sam answers, Mr. Town asks if Sam knows anything about the... (full context)
Interlude 2
Life, Death, Desire, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Deception Theme Icon
Marguerite calls her sister, Sam, telling her about her new next door neighbor who does coin tricks and the strange... (full context)
Chapter 13
Life, Death, Desire, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Deception Theme Icon
...son Leon is watching “The Wizard of Oz” when Shadow comes in. A minute later, Sam comes in with some groceries. With Marguerite busy putting the groceries away, Shadow asks Sam... (full context)
Deception Theme Icon
Plurality and the Power of the Individual in America Theme Icon
The Sacredness of American Land Theme Icon
At dinner, Marguerite and Sam explain that they are half-sisters, with their Cherokee father in common. Sam asks Shadow to... (full context)
Mythology, Belief, and Community Theme Icon
Change and Growth Theme Icon
Plurality and the Power of the Individual in America Theme Icon
The Sacredness of American Land Theme Icon
On the way to the bar, Sam asks Shadow to explain his alternate identity, and she tells him that a Mr. Town... (full context)
Mythology, Belief, and Community Theme Icon
Life, Death, Desire, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Deception Theme Icon
...figure this all out, obviously reluctant to distrust Shadow after months of being his friend. Sam steps up and insults Audrey, then kisses Shadow in a display of support, rather than... (full context)
Chapter 20
Mythology, Belief, and Community Theme Icon
Change and Growth Theme Icon
Life, Death, Desire, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Deception Theme Icon
Plurality and the Power of the Individual in America Theme Icon
...Hinzelmann controls who comes into and out of Lakeside, angrily asking Hinzelmann if he brought Sam Black Crow and Audrey Burton here on purpose so that Wednesday would be forced out.... (full context)
Mythology, Belief, and Community Theme Icon
Change and Growth Theme Icon
Plurality and the Power of the Individual in America Theme Icon
The Sacredness of American Land Theme Icon
After sending Chad to see Marguerite, Shadow drives south to Madison, Wisconsin. Meanwhile, Samantha Black Crow closes up the coffee shop she works at, putting away the leftover pastries... (full context)
Change and Growth Theme Icon
Plurality and the Power of the Individual in America Theme Icon
The Sacredness of American Land Theme Icon
...reported strange dreams lately. As the two of them walk out of the coffee shop, Sam admits that she sometimes has odd dreams of people falling from the sky, a woman... (full context)
Life, Death, Desire, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Deception Theme Icon
Shadow parks near the Madison capital building and calls information to find out where Sam will be. He finds the coffee shop where Sam works and waits for her, but... (full context)