Heavy: An American Memoir - Part One, “Boy Man” - "Train" Summary & Analysis

Kiese Laymon
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Summary

"Train"

In narration that sets the events the author is writing about in 1987, when he was 12 years old, the author describes how, on a morning when his mother was “teaching black children how the correct usage of the word ‘be’ could save them from white folk,” he was “preparing to steal the ID card of a fifteen-year-old-black girl named Layla Weathersby” (13). He describes the circumstances of his theft – in the large home of the relatively wealthy Beulah Beauford; in the company of a bunch of larger, controlling boys; and trying to obey the arbitrary rules of those boys who determined how he, Layla, and others could use Beulah’s backyard pool. On that particularly day, the rules involved Layla going into a bedroom with the older boys while the author stole her ID.

After Layla went into the bedroom...

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This section contains 1,428 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Heavy: An American Memoir Study Guide
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