Loose and funky memories of growing up smart and ""as colored as anybody could be in 1957."" Skip plays the organ for the Junior Gospel Chorus at church and makes occasional forays into the pool hall, but he's not much of a success as a street kid. He's more Comfortable practicing the piano, listening to jazz records in his room, and at school, where he shines academically but is put down for his ""negative attitude."" When the draft of his speech on ""Why I Am Proud to be an American"" is rejected (""as long as I'm rich and strong nobody will bother me""), Skip recalls other times when his mouth got him into trouble. Eventually Skip gives the speech his way, but that decision is less important than the brash and sissy incidents along the way.