The Sky is Gray: About an 8-Year-Old Black Boy

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“The Sky is Gray” is about an 8 year old black boy, James, who does not have the life an eight year old should have. He is constantly worrying about food, money, and how to please his mother. When he has to get his decayed tooth pulled he knows that it was going to be a burden on his families bank account. I believe that this trip to the dentist is what changes his life and therefore makes it a priceless memory.

There is a black student arguing with a preacher in the Dentist office. The preacher believes that you shouldn’t question God, and the student believes that you should question everything. The preacher is repulsed by his beliefs and actually slaps the student two times. The entire time this is going on James is trying to pretend as if he is not watching the incident, but he is so intrigued about how the boy is standing up for himself and using this “cold logic”, that he can’t bare to stop looking. This student is the first role model in James’ life. He realizes that he wants to grow up and be able to stand up for himself.

James’ mother is not the mother I would have wanted to have as an eight year old boy. She beats him, yells at him, and treats him as if he is 30 years old. For instance, when James refuses to kill the second bird so they could have some dinner, she beats him until he finally gives in. James’ could take the “cold logic” he learned from the student at the dentist and be angry towards his mom, but instead he uses what he knows in his heart is the right thing to do. He realizes that his mother is emotionally drained because she misses her husband and is upset that he had to be sent to the military.

Another instance when the story supports using your “heart” to do the right thing over rationality is when the white store owner, Helena, offer James and Octavia some food. She gives them extra meat and makes sure that they are full. During this time, white and blacks still did not get along, so for Helena to give this nice gesture...
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