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Chapters will be added over the course of tomorrow
“Sun’qhela is a phrase with many shades of meaning. It says “don’t undermine me,” “don’t underestimate me,” and “just try me.”
“Chapter 1: Run” Location 182-184
“She wanted to do something, figured out a way to do it, and then she did it. She had a level of fearlessness that you have to possess to take on something like she did. If you stop to consider the ramifications, you’ll never do anything.”
“Chapter 2: Born a Crime” Location 360-362
Language brings with it an identity and a culture, or at least the perception of it. A shared language says “We’re the same.” A language barrier says “We’re different.”
“Chapter 3: Trevor Pray” Location 750-751
“[…] when I was forced to choose, I chose black. The world saw me as colored, but I didn’t spend my life looking at myself. I spent my life looking at other people. I saw myself as the people around me, and the people around me were black. My cousins are black, my mom is black, my gran is black. I grew up black. Because I had a white father, because I’d been in white Sunday school, I got along with the white kids, but I didn’t belong with the white kids. I wasn’t a part of their tribe. But the black kids embraced me. “Come along,” they said. “You’re rolling with us.” With the black kids, I wasn’t constantly trying to be. With the black kids, I just was.”
Chapter 4: Chameleon — Location 919-924
“[…] a knowledgeable man is a free man, or at least a man who longs for freedom.”
Chapter 4: Chameleon — Location 930-931
“British racism said, ‘If the monkey can walk like a man and talk like a man, then perhaps he is a man.’ Afrikaner racism said, ‘Why give a book to a monkey?'”
Chapter 4: Chameleon — Location 945-946
“So many black families spend all of their time trying to fix the problems of the past. That is the curse of being black and poor, and it is a curse that follows you from generation to generation. My mother calls it “the black tax.” Because the generations who came before you have been pillaged, rather than being free to use your skills and education to move forward, you lose everything just trying to bring everyone behind you back up to zero.”
Chapter 5: The Second Girl — Location 997-1000
“Learn from your past and be better because of your past.”
Chapter 5: The Second Girl — Location 1007-1007
As modestly as we lived at home, I never felt poor because our lives were so rich with experience.
Chapter 5: The Second Girl — Location 1112-1113
We tell people to follow their dreams, but you can only dream of what you can imagine, and, depending on where you come from, your imagination can be quite limited.
Chapter 5: The Second Girl — Location 1126-1127
“[…] remember the thing that caused the trauma, but I don’t hold on to the trauma. I never let the memory of something painful prevent me from trying something new. If you think too much about the ass-kicking your mom gave you, or the ass-kicking that life gave you, you’ll stop pushing the boundaries and breaking the rules. It’s better to take it, spend some time crying, then wake up the next day and move on. You’ll have a few bruises and they’ll remind you of what happened and that’s okay. But after a while the bruises fade, and they fade for a reason—because now it’s time to get up to some shit again.”
Chapter 6: Loopholes — Location 1388-1392
Being chosen is the greatest gift you can give to another human being.
Chapter 8: Robert — Location 1636-1637
You’re having sex with a woman in her mind before you’re having sex with her in her vagina.
Chapter 9: The Mulberry Tree — Location 1853-1854
[…] foreplay begins during the day. It doesn’t begin in the bedroom.
Chapter 9: The Mulberry Tree — Location 1854-1855
I wasn’t popular, but I wasn’t an outcast. I was everywhere with everybody, and at the same time I was all by myself.
Chapter 11: Outsider — Location 2016-2017
I don’t regret anything I’ve ever done in life, any choice that I’ve made. But I’m consumed with regret for the things I didn’t do, the choices I didn’t make, the things I didn’t say. We spend so much time being afraid of failure, afraid of rejection. But regret is the thing we should fear most. Failure is an answer. Rejection is an answer. Regret is an eternal question you will never have the answer to.
Chapter 11: Outsider — Location 2021-2024
In Germany, no child finishes high school without learning about the Holocaust. Not just the facts of it but the how and the why and the gravity of it—what it means. As a result, Germans grow up appropriately aware and apologetic. British schools treat colonialism the same way, to an extent. Their children are taught the history of the Empire with a kind of disclaimer hanging over the whole thing. “Well, that was shameful, now wasn’t it?” In South Africa, the atrocities of apartheid have never been taught that way. We weren’t taught judgment or shame. We were taught history the way it’s taught in America. In America, the history of racism is taught like this: “There was slavery and then there was Jim Crow and then there was Martin Luther King Jr. and now it’s done.” It was the same for us. “Apartheid was bad. Nelson Mandela was freed. Let’s move on.” Facts, but not many, and never the emotional or moral dimension. It was as if the teachers, many of whom were white, had been given a mandate. “Whatever you do, don’t make the kids angry.”
Chapter 14: A Young Man’s Long, Awkward, Occasionally Tragic, and Frequently Humiliating Education in Affairs of the Hearty, Pat III: The Dance — Location 2555-2563
People love to say, “Give a man a fish, and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he’ll eat for a lifetime.” What they don’t say is, “And it would be nice if you gave him a fishing rod.” That’s the part of the analogy that’s missing.
Chapter 15: Go Hitler! — Location 2655-2657
People say, “Oh, that’s a handout.” No. I still have to work to profit by it.
Chapter 15: Go Hitler! — Location 2659-2659
He has been given more potential, but he has not been given more opportunity. He has been given an awareness of the world that is out there, but he has not been given the means to reach it.
Chapter 16: The Cheese Boys — Location 2909
We like to believe we live in a world of good guys and bad guys, and in the suburbs it’s easy to believe that, because getting to know a career criminal in the suburbs is a difficult thing. But then you go to the hood and you see there are so many shades in between. In the hood, gangsters were your friends and neighbors. You knew them. You talked to them on the corner, saw them at parties. They were a part of your world. You knew them from before they became gangsters. It wasn’t, “Hey, that’s a crack dealer.” It was, “Oh, little Jimmy’s selling crack now.”
Chapter 16: The Cheese Boys — Location 2909
When you’re trying to stretch your money, food is where you have to be careful. You have to plan or you’ll eat your profits.
Chapter 16: The Cheese Boys — Location 3006-3007
The biggest thing in the hood is that you have to share. You can’t get rich on your own. You have money? Why aren’t you helping people? The old lady on the block needs help, everyone pitches in. You’re buying beer, you buy beer for everyone. You spread it around. Everyone must know that your success benefits the community in one way or another, or you become a target.
Chapter 16: The Cheese Boys — Location 3092-3096
[…] comfort can be dangerous. Comfort provides a floor but also a ceiling.
Chapter 16: The Cheese Boys — Location 3100-3100
Nelson Mandela once said, “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” He was so right. When you make the effort to speak someone else’s language, even if it’s just basic phrases here and there, you are saying to them, “I understand that you have a culture and identity that exists beyond me. I see you as a human being.”
Chapter 17: The World Doesn’t Love You — Location 3372-3375
The way my mother always explained it, the traditional man wants a woman to be subservient, but he never falls in love with subservient women. He’s attracted to independent women. “He’s like an exotic bird collector,” she said. “He only wants a woman who is free because his dream is to put her in a cage.”
Chapter 18: My Mother’s Life — Location 3626-3629
Love is a creative act. When you love someone you create a new world for them. My mother did that for me, and with the progress I made and the things I learned, I came back and created a new world and a new understanding for her.
Chapter 18: My Mother’s Life — Location 3782
Growing up in a home of abuse, you struggle with the notion that you can love a person you hate, or hate a person you love. It’s a strange feeling. You want to live in a world where someone is good or bad, where you either hate them or love them, but that’s not how people are.
Chapter 18: My Mother’s Life — Location 3847
My cry was not a cry of sadness. It was not catharsis. It wasn’t me feeling sorry for myself. It was an expression of raw pain that came from an inability of my body to express that pain in any other way, shape, or form.
Chapter 18: My Mother’s Life — Location 3996