by John C. Wipler
The Glory Field, by Walter Dean Myers, is a story about an African American family, the Lewis family, through different generations. All the main characters in the book make important decisions that change their lives forever. There are many examples of bravery in the book, but three character stand out. Lizzy, Luvenia, and Tommy all show acts of courage.
Lizzy, a slave working on a plantation in 1864, showed courage when she makes decisions that could endanger her life. First, she showed courage when Lem, another slave, has been bound to the tree in the middle of a field as punishment by Mr. Joe Haynes, the plantation overseer. She supports Lem by bringing him water. This was courageous because Lizzy knew if she was caught, she would be tortured as Mr. Joe Haynes was doing to Lem. Unfortunately, she was caught and was whipped until Joshua, another slave, tackled Mr. Joe Haynes to save her. All of them knew that if they did not run away from the Glory Field, they would be killed. “‘Go on, girl, before you break everybody’s heart.’ a voice from the darkness said... ‘Don’t turn back’ (a lady said). Lizzy stopped, looked down, took a deep breath, and continued (to walk away from the plantation).” Once again, Lizzy has shown courage by leaving The Glory Field even though it was the only home she had ever known.
Luvenia, a descendant of the Lewis family, living in Chicago in 1930, showed courage when she chose independence over taking the easy route. Luvenia chooses to stay in Chicago instead of going with her father to the Glory Field, which now is owned by their relatives. She knew she would have to support herself in Chicago but, to her, going to the Glory Field for work would feel like returning to slavery. Luvenia decides to make money in Chicago by doing hair. “‘Mr. Etta,’ Luvenia took a deep breath. ‘Is there any place around here where I could do hair...?’ ‘You mean you going to try to make it on your...