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"You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me the things that tormented me the most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive and who had ever been alive. I went into the 130th Street Library at least three or four times a week and I read everything there, I mean, every single book in that library. In some blind and instinctive way, I knew that what was happening in those books was also happening all around me and I was trying to make a connection between the books and the life I saw and the life I lived. I knew I was Black, of course, but I also knew I was smart. I didn't know how I would use my mind or even if I could, but that was the only thing I had to use and I was going to get whatever I wanted that way. And I was going to get my revenge that way. So I watched school the way I watched the streets because part of the answer was there."

-James Baldwin