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In his book Separate Pasts, Melton A. McLaurin reflects on his childhood during the 1950s where racism was a part of everyday live. Throughout the book, McLaurin looks closely at the relationships he shared with both his white and black peers. The one consistent theme McLaurin seeks to prove is that his hometown of Wade, North Carolina was one contingent on race relations and social-economic status.
McLaurin discusses how the first time he felt disconnected from his peers around him was in his youth when the neighborhood would play basketball together. One day, McLaurin brought two black friends to a shop owned by his grandfather. The boys were there to fill up a basketball they were using with air. When Bobo, one of the black friends, could not fill the ball up with air efficiently, McLaurin decided to do it himself. As soon as he put the needle to his mouth, he mentioned how he a surge of emotion. Commenting on the event, McLaurin states that

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