1.) Why does Wright borrow the title from a hymn?
2.) What aspects of Southern life were threatened by cooperation between black and white Communists in the 1930s?
4.) What is the nature of the new faith that Aunt Sue learns from her sons Sug and Johnny-Boy?
“If in the early days of her life the white mountain had driven her back from the earth, then in her last days Reva’s love was drawing her toward it….”
5.) How does the white mountain function as a metaphor? What does the passage reveal about Aunt Sue’s conception of self?
6.) Why does the sheriff not hesitate to brutalize an old black woman? What does his action reveal about racial hatred?
7.) Is Aunt Sue’s reaction to her beating similar to or different from Reverend Taylor’s reaction to his whipping in Fire and Cloud? How does gender function as a determining element in their responses?
8.) What does Aunt Sue’s suffering and ultimate sacrifice for her son Johnny-Boy suggest about a woman’s determination?