One morning Big Ma brings T.J., Stacey and Cassie to the market. They are all surprised they are allowed to go. Cassie is excited about going to town, but when she gets there she is disappointed. Big Ma sets up her wagon full of eggs and dairy far behind wagons owned by white people, and this makes Cassie angry. After the market, Big Ma goes to see Mr. Jamison, telling the children to wait for her. T.J. immediately wants to run off, and the other two follow him. He shows Stacey a fancy gun, saying how much he wants it and how no one would bother him if he owned it. Then he asks the white shopkeeper to fill an order for his father. The man begins to do so, but gets distracted by other white people who need help.
Cassie doesn't understand what is happening, though the other boys do and are embarrassed. Finally, Cassie approaches the man, asking him to help T.J. again, because they have been waiting for along time. He says to her, "Well, you just get your little black self back over there and wait some more." Chapter 5, pg. 111 Furious, Cassie starts to yell, but her brother pulls her out of the store. He goes to get Big Ma, and Cassie is left alone to sulk. She bumps into Lillian Jean, who tells her to apologize. Cassie does so, but that isn't enough for Lillian Jean, who tries to force Cassie down into the road. Lillian's father then pushes Cassie off the sidewalk, into the road. Just then Big Ma appears, and though she looks unhappy, she tells Cassie to apologize. Cassie finally does, and they go home. "No day in all my life had ever been as cruel as this one."
Back at home, Cassie is angry. Stacey tries to explain that Big Mahad no choice: she had to make Cassie apologize. They argue, and then they see a strange car in their barn. Uncle Hammer is visiting. The children are shocked to learn that he owns a car. Everyone is happy to see Hammer. When Cassie tells him what happened to her in town, he gets very angry. Though Big Ma pleads with him, he says he is taking his gun and going to see Lillian Jean's father. The women send Mr. Morrison after him. Mama explains to Cassie, "Big Ma didn't want you hurt. That was the only thing on her mind." Chapter 6, pg. 126 She explains that Mr. Simms believes that white people are better than black people, and though that might make Cassie angry, she has to realize that it is reality. She explains that slavery made so much money that white peopleconvinced themselves that black people were not as good as they were--which made using them as slaves okay.
Cassie's great-grandparents were slaves. Cassie goes to sleep, and the next morning she finds Hammer…