Crumbs from the Table of Joy


Lynn Nottage

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Crumbs from the Table of Joy can help.

Crumbs from the Table of Joy: Act 1, Scene 6 Summary & Analysis

Back at the apartment, Godfrey timidly enters the living room and looks around. His daughters are hesitant to embrace him, wanting to know where he has been. But he manages to endear himself to Ermina by giving her a cookie and explaining that he simply needed to clear his head. Things get tense again, though, when Gerte steps into the room and Godfrey introduces her as his new wife. Ermina can’t help but exclaim that Gerte is white, and Ernestine says that their mother wouldn’t like this new development—after all, she hasn’t even been dead for a full year. Gerte tries to sympathize by saying that she lost her mother at a young age, too, but Ernestine simply yells that she doesn’t want Gerte in the apartment. Meanwhile, Lily stands in the doorway and asks Godfrey what’s going on.
It's surprising that Godfrey has married Gerte, especially considering his initial reticence to even talk to her on the subway. And yet, it’s also worth noting that he eventually suggested that she come with him to the Peace Mission, meaning that the very beginning of their relationship took shape within the context of his newfound religious devotion. What’s more, it has already been mentioned in the play that Father Divine himself married a white woman, so Godfrey’s decision to marry Gerte isn’t quite as unprecedented as it might seem—to the contrary, Godfrey is essentially doing his best to emulate Father Divine, once again looking to the Peace Mission Movement to figure out how to conduct his life.
Faith, Devotion, and Hope Theme Icon
Racism and Opportunity Theme Icon
Grief, Loss, and Moving On Theme Icon