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André Robert Lee and his sister grew up in the ghettos of Philadelphia. Their mother struggled to support them by putting strings in the waistbands of track pants and swimsuits in a local factory. When André was 14 years old, he received what his family believed to be a golden ticket — a full scholarship to attend one of the most prestigious prep schools in the country. Elite education was André’s way up and out, but at what price? Yes, the exorbitant tuition was covered, but this new world cost him and his family much more than anyone could have anticipated.
In The Prep School Negro, André takes a journey back in time to revisit the events of his adolescence while also spending time with present-day prep school students of color and their classmates to see how much has really changed inside the ivory tower. What he discovers along the way is the poignant and unapologetic truth about who really pays the consequences for yesterday’s accelerated desegregation and today’s racial naiveté.
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