A Change in Thinking
In The Hammer Man, a young black girl learns about racial inequality through an event in her life. Realizing that being black is different than being white, she must change her way of thinking and acting in order to survive. The author, Toni Cade Bambara, wants to explain how racial inequality is not learned but experienced by black people because of their environment.
The young girl grew up in an inner city neighborhood. She survived the neighborhood by becoming a tough tom-boy. She did not have much of a home life. She was not very close to her mother; however, she was closer to her father because she was the only girl. Miss Rose was a neighbor who was more like a mother to her. She listened to her problems and would take up for the little girl.
Manny is a boy who wants to beat up the little girl because she said bad things about his mother.
He waited for her around her house for days, but she was inside hiding from him. It was around this time when Manny got on the roof and fell off. When she found out he was hurt she came out of her house. She did not see Manny very much after this accident.
A youth center opened in the neighborhood and her mother pushed her into joining because she did not want her around. When at the center, she looked in the files and found out that she "was from a deviant family in a deviant neighborhood". One night after being thrown out of the center, she saw Manny practicing his lay-ups. She stood there and watched Manny for an hour and did not know why. The next thing she knew is that two cops are asking...