Black Boy Chapter 8
As it is, Richard is very isolated; his family does not understand him and he has no friends. In 1925, at age 16, he is ready to graduate the ninth grade. Now valedictorian, he is allowed to make a speech at the graduation. His principal calls him into the office and gives him a pre-written speech, which Richard refuses to accept. The principal tells him there will be whites and blacks in the audience, and that Richard doesn't know what he's doing. Uncle Tom reads both the principal's speech and the speech Richard has prepared, and says, "the principal's speech is the better speech." Chapter 8, pg. 177 Richard trusts his uncle's judgment, but maintains that whatever speech he makes, no matter how amateur, must be his own.