A lesson before dying

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  • Grant joins Miss Emma on her next visit to Jefferson, bringing along a notebook and pencil. In the dayroom, Jefferson refuses to eat at first. Grant asks Jefferson to walk with him around the room.
  • I don't want to eat.
  • Lets go for a walk.
  • As they walk, Grant tells Jefferson that a hero does something other men do not do or cannot do. Grant says that he (Grant) is not a hero, but that Jefferson can be a hero. Grant tells Jefferson about the white myth that black people are not human.
  • Myself or reverend Ambrose aren't heroes but I believe that you can be. you can be the one to change how the white men see us.
  • Grant says he cannot stand up to defy whites, and that the reverend will not stand up to defy them, but Jefferson can do it. Grant tells Jefferson that he needs him more than Jefferson needs Grant. As Grant speaks, Jefferson cries quietly at his side, and Grant begins to cry too.
  • I need you more than you need me
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