• I grew up in a very loving middle class family. My parents were educators. I'm not even the first PhD in my family. They tried to shield me, just as other parents in my neighborhood tried to shield their children. But you knew there was a reason that you couldn't go to that theme park or to a movie theater or to a hamburger stand. They couldn't shield you completely. What they did though was they never let it be an excuse for not achieving, and they always said racism is somebody else's problem, not yours. They tried in that way not to make us bitter about Birmingham.

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