Identical, p.33

Identical, page 33



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  scouts at some random (or

  maybe not so) game. I have

  to play brilliantly every time.

  Andre Marcus Kane III


  Give most girls a way

  to describe me, that’s what

  they’d say—that Andre

  Marcus Kane the third is


  I struggle daily to maintain

  the pretense. Why must it be

  expected—no, demanded—of


  to surpass my ancestors’

  achievements? Why

  can’t I just be a regular

  seventeen-year-old, trying to


  sense of life? But my path

  has been preordained,

  without anyone even asking


  what I want. Nobody seems

  to care that with every push

  to live up to their expectations,

  my own dreams


  Don’t Get Me Wrong

  I do understand my parents wanting only

  the best for me.

  Am one hundred percent tuned to the concept

  that life is a hell of a lot more enjoyable

  fun with a fast-

  flowing stream of money carrying you

  along. I like driving a pricey car, wearing

  clothes that feel

  like they want to be next to my skin.

  I love not having to be a living, breathing

  stereotype because

  of my color. Anytime I happen to think

  about it, I am grateful to my grandparents

  for their vision.

  Grateful to my mom for her smarts,

  to my father for his bald ambition,

  and, yes, greed.

  Not to mention unreal intuition.

  My Grandfather

  Andre Marcus Kane Sr. embraced

  the color of his skin,

  refused to let it straitjacket

  him. He grew up in the urban

  California nightmare

  called Oakland, with its rutted

  asphalt and crumbling cement

  and frozen dreams,

  all within sight of hillside mansions.

  I’d look up at those houses, he told

  me more than once,

  and think to myself, no reason why

  that can’t be me, living up there.

  No reason at all,

  except getting sucked down into

  the swamp. Meaning welfare or the drug

  trade or even the cliché

  idea that sports were the only way out.



  Ellen Hopkins, Identical

  (Series: # )




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