I could have easily been a statistic. Growing up in Brooklyn, N.Y., it was easy – a little too easy – to get into trouble. Surrounded by poor schools, lack of resources, high unemployment rates, poverty, gangs and more, I watched as many of my peers fell victim to a vicious cycle of diminished opportunities and imprisonment.
I never had any hang-ups about sex. As for being sexually repressed, nothing could be further from the truth. There are more hang-ups now than ever there were when I was growing up.
I was always very aware of the nature of the place where I was growing up in Gulfport, Mississippi, how that place was shaping my experience of the world. I had to go to the Northeast for graduate school because I felt like I had to get far away from my South, be outside it, to understand it.
Artificial intelligence is growing up fast, as are robots whose facial expressions can elicit empathy and make your mirror neurons quiver.
I think I may have to grow up without growing old. I think we’re going to have to define differently what I’m going to be. We’re going to have to define my growing up differently.
Our parents deserve our honor and respect for giving us life itself. Beyond this they almost always made countless sacrifices as they cared for and nurtured us through our infancy and childhood, provided us with the necessities of life, and nursed us through physical illnesses and the emotional stresses of growing up.
I saw my parents come over. They were immigrants, they had no money. My dad wore the same pair of shoes, I had some ugly clothes growing up, and I never had any privileges. In some ways, I think the person that I am now, I think it’s good that I had that kind of tough upbringing.
My parents were mourning the death of my sister. She was killed in a car accident before I was born, and I didn’t know she existed until I was 13 or 14 years old. I knew I was growing up in a house where people were angry and sad.
Growing up, my birthday was always Confederate Memorial Day. It helped to create this profound sense of awareness about the Civil War and the 100 years between the Civil War and the civil rights movement and my parents’ then-illegal and interracial marriage.
I was a Depression kid, growing up in Oklahoma.