Chapter Summary Of The Secret Life Of Milkman

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From the beginning of the book it is obvious that names mean a lot, in the book we see Macon Dead III or Milkman imprisoned by his last name. Milkman feels because he has the same last name, he has to live the same life as his father and grandfather. Milkman just realizes that his great grandfather Solomon was a very famous and well known person within the country. Solomon was a slave, he tried to escape by taking his son Jake back to Africa. Although he fails in doing so Milkman realizes that he is related to Solomon and Jake, hence meaning that he has a affluent family legacy. “Yeah. That tribe. That flyin motherfuckin tribe. Oh, man! He didn’t need no airplane. He just took off; got fed up. All the way up! No more cotton! No more bales! …show more content…

Wow! Woohee! Guitar! You hear that? Guitar, my great-granddaddy could flyyyyyy and the whole damn town is named after him. Tell him, Sweet. Tell him my great- granddaddy could fly” (328). Milkman is delighted to find out that he has a history that he proud of. After being told that one of his great grandfathers was just a week slave and the other might of been guilty of incest, Milkman is relieved to finally have a family history that he is proud of. After discovering that his great grandfather Solomon flew back to Africa, Milkman is in a state of happiness. Milkman completely forgets about the gold that inspired him to go on this journey in the first place. On the bus ride home, Milkman looks out the window and sees several names each one with its own background and roots. “He closed his eyes and thought of the black men in Shalimar, Roanoke, Petersburg, Newport News, Danville, in the Blood Bank, on Darling Street, in the pool halls, the barbershops. Their names. Names they got from yearnings, gestures, flaws, events, mistakes, weaknesses. Names that bore witness”(330). Throughout the book we see Milkman struggle to accept his family's past betrayal and slavery. But by the end of the book Milkman finally realizes the capacity of his family

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