The Other Wes Moore

by Wes Moore

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How does Riverdale differ from the Bronx in The Other Wes Moore?

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Riverdale, an elite private school, really couldn't be any more different from the Bronx. For one thing, virtually the entire student population is white. This is something of a culture shock for Wes when he starts attending his new school; he's grown up in a culturally-mixed neighborhood, consisting largely of African-American, Puerto Rican, and Chinese-American families.

Little wonder, then, that Wes feels so out of place at Riverdale. And little wonder, too, that his friends tease him mercilessly about attending a white school. Wes responds by exaggerating his recent suspension for fighting. This is a pretty transparent—and unsuccessful—attempt to make him sound tough, to make it seem that he hasn't really left the life of the streets behind despite going to a good school.

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