“He also didn’t feel burdened by the thought that early parenthood would wreck his future plans . . . But in some unspoken way, he did sense that he was crossing a point of no return, that things were about to get complicated in a way he was unequipped to handle.”
“I was becoming too ‘rich’ for the kids from the neighborhood and too ‘poor’ for the kids at school. I had forgotten how to act naturally, thinking way too much in each situation and getting tangled in the contradictions between my two worlds.”
“We were all enclosed by the same fence, bumping into one another, fighting, celebrating. Showing one another our best and worst, revealing ourselves . . . as if that fence had created a circle of trust. A brotherhood.”
“I found in hip-hop the sound of my generation talking to itself, working through the fears and anxieties and inchoate dreams—of wealth or power or revolution or success—we all shared. It broadcast an exaggerated version of our complicated interior lives to the world, made us feel less alone in the madness of the era, less marginal.”
“When my grandparents moved to the United States, their first priority was to save enough money to buy this house . . . To them a house meant much more than shelter; it was a stake in their new country.”
“We will do what others expect of us . . . If they expect us to graduate, we will graduate. If they expect us to get a job, we will get a job. lf they expect us to go to jail, then that’s where we will end up too. At some point you lose control.”
“Our stories are obviously specific to our two lives, but I hope they will illuminate the crucial inflection points in every life, the sudden moments of decision where our paths diverge and our fates are sealed.”
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