Joe Willie and Andrew are brought back to Sumner Hills and they are to face the judge in the shooting death of Andrew's father. The judge rules that the two boys are to be separated from each other, and he warns them that if they are ever seen together again, he will take measures to make certain that one of them, if not both of them, will spend the rest of their lives in jail. Andrew is taken in by a White foster fatally, and Joe Willie goes back to live with his grandmother.
The novel now becomes Joe Willie's story almost entirely. It is Joe Willie's struggle that will not permit him to be with his friend, Andrew, simply because Andrew is White and he is Black. But his life becomes more complicated when his grandmother dies. Now he is left alone in the world, and it is a world that is not too kind. His grandmother wills him the house they have lived in, but the city informs him that they must take the house away from him because he is under aged, and there is no way possible for him to pay taxes on the house.