The narrator is at first quite honored to find that the superintendent of schools is among the men at the gathering in the hotel. Then when the white men's behavior becomes rude and offensive because of their blatant racism, the narrator is appalled and then disgusted by them. The superintendent is among those who are drunk, and this fact shocks the narrator as well. His view of the community leaders is shattered because the white men behave so abominably toward the young black men. Only when he is given the briefcase and scholarship does he feel some sense of appreciation, but even then his reaction is mixed because he has been humiliated, beaten, electrically shocked, and told to deliver his speech after this ordeal.