Daughters of Mary
This is the group of strong, black women who practice a religion made up by August Boatright; they gather at various times to celebrate their sisterhood and pride in their heritage. Their acceptance of Lily is key to her growth. The group is composed of Lunelle (the hat maker); Sugar-girl and her husband, Otis (the only man); Violet and her mother, Queenie; Cressie; and Mabelee. In Lily's confrontation with her father near the end of the novel, the solid, arm-in-arm wall of Daughters of Mary is too much for T. Ray to defy.
Neil is June's boyfriend, who has been waiting for years to marry her. He is a kind and considerate man who helps around the house and escorts June around town. Despite his growing exasperation, he never gives up on wanting to marry her.
Clayton is a white lawyer in Tilburon who mentors Zach. He tries to be kind to Lily, but she mistakes his curiosity as a threat to her identity. Clayton gets the wheels of justice grinding for Zach and makes sure Rosaleen's charges are dropped.
Becca is Clayton Forrest's daughter, and her relationship with her father is a foil to that of T. Ray and Lily. Once school begins in the fall, she is a friend and companion to Lily.
Brother Gerald is the minister of the local Baptist Church attended by Lily. He is a brainless racist whom Lily easily tricks into dropping the theft charges against Rosaleen.
Miss Lacy is the gossipy receptionist at Clayton Forrest's law office. She makes no secret of her disdain of Lily's staying with black people, and she tells Lily's whereabouts to her father.
Franklin Posey is the stereotypical racist who is also violent. T. Ray says he is the one who will most likely kill Rosaleen for "being uppity."
Avery Gaston is the prejudiced policeman who allows Rosaleen to be beaten and seizes Lily so she can't cry out. He teaches Lily that the law is not colorblind.