Author Wes Moore made friends with Justin when the two boys enrolled in the elite Riverdale School. They walked and took the subway together to Riverdale, which was located in one of the few nice areas remaining in the Bronx, New York. Almost all the students were white and came from wealthy families, while Wes and Justin were black and their families were far from affluent, so they did not really fit in.
Having Wes attend Riverdale had become a high priority for his mother, who knew that the Bronx public schools had declined since she attended them. Joy was convinced that he would receive a sub-standard education there as well as face many dangers. She greatly valued education in part because her father had been a teacher. Wes’s friend Justin came from a similar family and lived nearby; his mother, also a single parent, was a teacher.
Wes was highly conscious not only of feeling out of place at Riverdale but also of the widening gap between him and his neighborhood friends. He invested...
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