by Jerry Spinelli
Maniac Magee Race Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph)
Amanda was suspicious. Who was this stranger kid? And what was he doing in the East End, where almost all the kids were black? And why was he saying that? (3.3)
Amanda is a pretty great kid, who is open-minded and friendly (if a little bossy and opinionated). So, if even she is concerned by a white kid in the black neighborhood, you know we're talking about some deep-seated prejudices.
The Cobras were standing at Hector Street. Hector Street was the boundary between the East and West Ends. Or, to put it another way, between the blacks and whites. Not that you never saw a white in the East End or a black in the West End. People did cross the line now and then, especially if they were adults, and it was daylight.
But nighttime, forget it. And if you were a kid, day or night, forget it. Unless you had business on the other side, such as a sports team or school. But don't be just strolling along, as if you belonged there, as if you weren't afraid, as if you didn't even notice you were a different color from everybody around you. (9.16-17)
What would it be like to not being able to go into an entire neighborhood because of the color of your skin? Do you know places like this? Do they still exist?
Dead silence along the street. The kid had done the unthinkable, he had chomped on one of Mars's own bars. Not only that, but white kids just didn't put their mouths where black kids had had theirs, be it soda bottles, spoons, or candy bars. And the kid hadn't even gone for the unused end; he had chomped right over Mars Bar's own bite marks. (10.33)
So, these are kind of like extreme cooties. How powerful is peer pressure in forming theses kids' attitudes? And what's worse—chomping on one of Mars's bars, or chomping on a black kid's bar?