White Lilacs

White Lilacs

Section 1: Chapters 1–5

  1. counterpane: a bedspread
  2. colicky: severe, often fluctuating pain in the abdomen caused by intestinal gas, suffered especially by babies
  3. midwife: a person (typically a woman) trained to assist women in childbirth
  4. quaker: a member of the religious society of friends, a christian movement founded by george fox
  5. radical: a person who departs from tradition, advocate complete social or political change
  6. veranda: a roofed platform along the outside of a house, level with the ground floor
Comprehension Questions
  1. The white lilac is special because it is very rare. (pg. 2)
  2. Mrs. Bell claims all credit for her garden even though it was Jim Williams who made it special. (Pg 3)
  3. Rose Lee is called upon to serve lunch to Mrs. Bell’s garden party. (pg. 5)
  4. Rose Lee’s ear perk up when the women mention Freedomtown, where Rose Lee lives. (pg. 9)
  5. The ladies suggest a park, library, gardens, and a women’s club be built in Freedomtown. (pg. 11)
  6. Miss Firth says, “Except the Negroes,” when Mrs. Bell says no one will object. (pg. 12)
  7. Most of the people from Freedomtown are employed in the homes of rich folks in Dillon. (pg.20)
  8. Henry is different from his family because Henry is stubborn and he speaks out about the oppression they are experiencing. He fought in France in the war and he believes he deserves better. (pg. 20)
  9. Rose Lee’s two favorite places are Grandfather’s Garden of Eden and her Grandmother’s parlor. (pg. 22)
  10. The important news Rose Lee gives is that the white people want to move the Negroes out of Freedomtown to some other place. (pg. 24)
  11. Mrs. Firth tells Rose Lee that she would like to sketch Rose Lee and her Grandfather while they work in the garden. (pg. 30)
  12. Rose Lee shares her little sketches with Mrs. Firth. (pg. 33)
  13. Miss Firth tells Rose Lee that she is very talented and offers to teach Rose Lee art lessons. (pg. 33)
  14. Pastor Mobley relays that the white folks are circulating a petition to vote the Negroes out of their homes. (pg. 37)

Section 2: Chapters 6–10

  1. benefactor: a person who gives money or other help to a person or cause
  2. blight: a plant disease, especially one caused by fungi, mildews, rusts and smuts
  3. carpetbagger: a political candidate who seeks election in an area where they have no logical connections
  4. chenille: a tufted velvety cord or yarn, used for trimming furniture and making carpets and clothing
  5. emancipation: the fact or process of being set free from legal, social or political restrictions
  6. prohibition: the action of forbidding something, especially by law
Comprehension Questions
  1. Mrs. Bell says she will be worried about Catherine Jane’s safety and welfare. (pg. 61)
  2. Rose lee notices that even though she’s in the same room they went on talking like she wasn’t there, not even visible. (pg.62)
  3. Rose Lee’s momma is planning a fish fry on July 4th to raise money for her club. (pg. 70)
  4. Rose Lee’s momma reveals that Aunt Susannah is coming to visit from far away St. Louis. (pg. 72)
  5. Juneteenth observes the date when the Negroes in Texas got word they were free. (pg. 73)
  6. Aunt Susannah is not only beautiful and well dressed but she carries herself like she is someone special. (pg. 74)
  7. Aunt Susannah’s plan shocked momma because she had worked really hard to clean the house and Rose Lee’s sisters were really mad because they wanted to stay with their grandparents. (pg. 76)
  8. Mrs. Bell always gave a party the night before the Negroes were having a celebration, just to tire them out so they wouldn’t have fun. (pg. 79)
  9. Rose Lee’s momma fixes fried chicken, sweet potato and pecan pies, and a yellow cake with chocolate frosting. (pg. 84)
  10. Henry disrupts sunday service by shouting, “No!” from the back of the church and saying, “We can’t let this happen!” (pg. 93)
  11. The Klan marched through Freedomtown on the night of Juneteenth and lit a cross on fire. (pg. 108)
  12. The men of Freedomtown wrote a letter of protest to the city council insisting on their treatment. (pg. 115)
  13. Aunt Susannah’s fiance’s parents threatened to cut him off financially when they died. (pg. 120)
  14. Henry’s idea is for all the Negroes to refuse to go to work for all the white people on the 4th of July, a day the whites really depend on the black people to do all their party preparations. (pg. 122)

Section 3: Chapters 11–15

  1. shrewd – having or showing sharp powers of judgment; astute
  2. suffragist: a person advocating suffrage (the vote), especially to women
  3. vision: the faculty or state of being able to see
  4. souvenir: a thing that is kept as a reminder of a person, place or event
  5. undertaker: a person whose business is preparing dead bodies for burial or cremation
  6. coax: to persuade someone gradually, or by flattery to do something
Comprehension Questions
  1. Aunt Tillie begs Rose Lee to take her place at the 4th of July picnic. (pg. 126)
  2. Rose Lee’s Momma promises to save some catfish and a slice of peach pie for her. (pg. 127)
  3. Catherine Jane wants to have her hair cut into a bob. (pg. 130)
  4. Miss Firth shocked the townspeople by walking up on stage, grabbing a megaphone, and stating she was there to talk about the rights of the Negroes. (pg. 133)
  5. Miss Firth’s mother works for years to get the right to vote for women. (pg. 133)
  6. Henry goes to the white peoples picnic to try to get all the black people to walk out and leave all the work for the white people to do themselves. (pg. 136)
  7. Grandpa comes to marry grandma because he had a vision in a dream where a voice told him to go home and marry either Miss Lila Huckaby or Miss Addie Price. (pg. 138)
  8. Rose Lee sees a man (her brother) who had been tarred and feathered. (pg. 141)
  9. Catherine Jane asks Rose Lee to deliver a letter to Miss Firth. (pg.152)
  10. Rose Lee finds Mrs. Bells Ku Klux Klan robe and hood in a narrow cupboard. (pg. 154)
  11. Mr. Lipscomb asked for nine thousand dollars but was offered a little better than half that amount. (pg. 164)
  12. Rose Lee’s three reasons are: 1. She now understands how much the white people want them gone. 2. Her school was destroyed. 3. She hadn’t made a drawing of her schoolhouse in her sketchbook and now it was gone. (pg. 172)
  13. Catherine Jane wants Aunt Tillie to make Baked Alaska for her birthday cake. (pg. 174)
  14. Catherine Jane cut off all her hair into a bob. (pg. 177)

Section 4: Chapters 16-19

  1. counterpane: a bedspread
  2. charlatan: a person falsely claiming to have a special knowledge or skill
  3. fancywork: ornamental needlework, crochet or knitting, as opposed to plain or purely functional stitches
  4. dejected: sad and depressed; dispirited
  5. porte cochere: a covered entrance large enough for vehicles to pass through, typically opening into a courtyard
  6. bitter: having a sharp, pungent taste or smell; not sweet
Comprehension Questions
  1. The people of Freedomtown react by talking about their homes and sometimes they gave her cool water to drink as well as occasional gifts. (pg. 186)
  2. Mr. Prince has the problem of not having any teacher to teach after graduation. (pg.189)
  3. Rose Lee has thoughts of becoming a teacher after graduation. (pg. 195)
  4. Grandfather is given the honor of storring the big bell from Forgiveness Baptist Church at his house. (pg. 199)
  5. The last picture Rose Lee draw is the scene of her house slowly creeping down Logan Street, past Grandmother’s parlor window. (pg. 202)
  6. The only person who seemed happy about something is Aunt Susannah. (pg. 204)
  7. Grandfather dug flower beds all around his house and made walkways with bricks and He planted trees to improve his house at the Flats. (pg. 209)
  8. Poppa takes a job as a janitor at the academy. (pg. 212)
  9. The family feels the best solution for Henry is to get him out of town immediately. (pg. 215)
  10. Rose Lee goes over to the Bells and takes Henry’s place in the garden. (pg. 219)
  11. Rose Lee seeks help from Cathrine Jane by asking her to secretly drive Henry out of town. (pg. 222)
  12. It’s very dangerous for Henry to be in Catherine Jane’s car because black men were not allowed to be alone with white women. He could be killed for it. (pg. 227)
  13. Rose Lee gives Henry her sketchbook so he would remember “to come back.” (pg. 229)
  14. Grandfather asks Rose Lee to take care of the white lilac after he dies. (pg. 236)