Chicago-born Armstrong Tom is fifteen, black and unused to the segregated ways of the Deep South when his mother sends him to spend the summer with relatives in her native rural Mississippi. For speaking a few innocuous words in French to a white woman, Armstrong pays the ultimate price when her husband and his friends come to teach him a lesson.

Each of these characters-white and black- are changed, then, and forever, by the horror of poverty, the legacy of justice, and love’s power to heal.

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