"'Lay em down, Sethe. Sword and shield. Down. Down. Both of em down. Down by the riverside. Sword and shield. Don't study war no more. Lay all that mess down. Sword and shield." (Page 101)
This advice is repeated throughout the book through Sethe's thoughts. Baby Suggs was always so strong about the African community sticking together until the very end. I wonder if Baby Suggs felt this way through out her life or if this was advice she first gave Sethe toward the end of Baby Suggs' life. To me it seems that even though Baby Suggs was never prone to fight, it would make sense if her advice was to lay down the sword but hold the shield steady.