Important Quotations

  • "When we're young, it sometimes seems as if the world doesn't exist outside our city, our block, our house, our room. We make decisions based on what we see in that limited world and follow the only models available." (Moore 178)

  • "He saw this every day. The people who would line up around the corner for drugs. The people who would do anything to score. He knew these people because he was the one who got them what they needed. It was his job. And it pained him to realize that the mother of his children was just like them. Wes grabbed his keys and walked out the door. He wasn't sure where he was going, but he knew he couldn't stay there. Wes was tired. Tired of being locked up, tired of watching drugs." (Moore 138)

  • "His tribe's influence in making him a man was obvious and indelible. At that moment, I realized the journey I took was never mine alone either. Our eyes met, and he smiled and nodded his head. I nodded my head in return." (Moore 171)
  • "'Just stand next to the white people. They'll get off by Hundred and Tenth Street.'" (Moore 46)

  • "Mary realized the letter effectively closed the door on her college aspirations. She had already completed sixteen hours of college credits and would get no closer toward graduation." (Moore 17)

  • "Money? Wes just wanted to get his hands on one of the headsets. There was money involved too?" (Moore 58)

  • "That's when I started to understand that I was in a different environment. Not simply because I was in the middle of Pennsylvania instead of the Bronx or Baltimore. It was a different psychological environment, where my normal expectations were inverted, where leadership was honored and class clowns were ostracized." (Moore 96)

  • "The chilling truth is that his story could have been mine. The tragedy is that my story could have been his" (Moore 180)

  • "Black Africans, who generally lived on only 5 percent of the nation's land, made up over 80 percent of the population. These were South Africa's "projects," areas where despair and hopelessness were not accidental products of the environment but rather the whole point. It was obviously a far more egregious situation, but I could sense faint echoes of Baltimore and the Bronx in the story of these townships." (Moore 165)

  • "This book is meant to show us how... our destinies can be determined by a single stumble down the wrong path , or a tentative step down the right one." (Moore xiv)