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Word Count: 413
Richard Gregory learned about the cruelty of poverty very early in life through two different experiences that marked his life and he tried to overcome by overachieving He was about seven years old when he had to face shame for the first time in his life He had fell in love with a little girl in his class her name Helene Tucker He did everything that was possible for a poor little black boy to impress her or at least to make her noticing him Even though there was no water in his house and he only had one outfit he made sure it was clean by washing the clothes every night with melted ice from a soda machine located in the neighborhood store Helene Tucker was symbol of everything you want kind neat and popular and she had a Daddy and he got a good job She was in the classroom when the teacher in front of the other students humiliated Richard He was sitting in the idiots seat the troublemaker seat He was behind in spelling reading and math and couldnt concentrate because most of the time he had not eaten anything for breakfast But the teacher never cared to find out the reason why he was not doing better in school All she saw from the front was a little black boy who squirmed in his idiots seat and made noises and poked the kids around himThe teacher started asking each child for a monetary contribution given by the parents for the Community Chest Wanted to show off Richard was planning in topping Helenes contribution with the money he got from shinning shoes But the teacher never called his name When he raised his hand to tell the teacher about his contribution she disregarded him by saying we are collecting money for you and your kind At that moment he realized who he was in the eyes of everybody and the shame
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