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and wondrously happy for their entire lives. So I was born
into a very happy family.
Where were you born exactly? Where were you living in
I was born in a house that is now in one of the most
rundown sections of New York, 117th Street, just off Seventh
That was country, wasn't it?
No, no. But it was certainly not a Negro neighborhood
in those days. It was mostly Jewish. But very early in life
my family moved to an apartment house called the Douglas, which
was at 201 West 121st Street--that's Seventh Avenue and
121st Street--also right smack in the center of Harlem now
in the colored section. But because I lived there, I went to
Public School 10, which was at 117th Street and St. Nicholas
Avenue. This is where my real life began, because in that school
I met some of the people who became lifelong friends.
Would you like to say anything more about your mother?
Was your mother an attractive woman?
Well, yes, I can talk a little bit about her. First of
all, she was the most sensitive woman in the world--very easily
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