Warriors Don’t Cry


Melba Beals

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– A white grocer who mainly serves black customers. Melba describes Mr. Waylan as a “tall, skinny” man with an “Adam’s apple sticking out above his collar” and a “fish-belly blue-white skin and oversized fingernails.” Mr. Waylan was “the white man [Melba] saw most often,” usually “twice a week,” for her family regularly bought groceries from him until Mr. Waylan overcharged them by twenty-two dollars. This act prompted anger from Melba’s father until Grandma India quietly commanded him not to react. Mr. Waylan insisted on charging them more because, he said, he supplied the family with groceries on credit when they could not pay.
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Mr. Waylan Character Timeline in Warriors Don’t Cry

The timeline below shows where the character Mr. Waylan appears in Warriors Don’t Cry. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Racism and Living Under Jim Crow Theme Icon
...“kowtow to white people.” Her family tends to be especially worried when they go to Mr. Waylan’s grocery store. One Friday evening, the family goes on a shopping spree there with the... (full context)
Racism and Living Under Jim Crow Theme Icon
The family decides not to return to Mr. Waylan’s store, which only offers its black customers “day-old bread and slightly rotting meat for one... (full context)