The Other Wes Moore

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A close friend of Moore, Justin is one of the only other black kids at Riverdale. Justin is an excellent student and is warned by the Riverdale faculty to stay away from Moore, however Justin ignores this advice. Justin undergoes an unusual level of hardship in life; his mother dies of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma while he is in high school, and in college Justin develops a rare form of cancer himself at the same time as his father dies in a house fire. Despite this, Justin recovers and goes on to a successful career in education.

Justin Quotes in The Other Wes Moore

The The Other Wes Moore quotes below are all either spoken by Justin or refer to Justin. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Luck vs. Choice Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Spiegel & Grau edition of The Other Wes Moore published in 2011.
Chapter 3 Quotes

I was becoming too "rich" for the kids from the neighborhood and too "poor" for the kids at school. I had forgotten how to act naturally, thinking way too much in each situation and getting tangled in the contradictions between my two worlds. My confidence took a hit. Unlike Justin, whose maturity helped him handle this transition much better than I did, I began to let my grades slip.

Related Characters: Wes Moore (Moore/The Author) (speaker), Justin
Page Number: 53-54
Explanation and Analysis:

Moore has been struggling to hide his family’s lack of wealth from the kids at Riverdale; meanwhile, the neighborhood boys in the Bronx tease him about attending a “white school.” Increasingly caught between these two worlds, Moore struggles to cope. This passage illustrates the ways in which Moore’s academic performance is inherently tied to his social status and confidence. While Moore’s concerns might seem childish and frivolous (especially compared to the more driven and mature Justin), they are in fact caused by the very serious issues of racism and inequality. It is easy to dismiss Moore’s neglect of his schoolwork as irresponsible; yet the reason why Moore and many children like him fail to succeed is because they are suffering from the effects of social inequality and exclusion.

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Justin Character Timeline in The Other Wes Moore

The timeline below shows where the character Justin appears in The Other Wes Moore. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3: Foreign Ground
Luck vs. Choice Theme Icon
Friendship, Family, and Brotherhood Theme Icon
Inclusion vs. Exclusion Theme Icon
Race, Inequality, and Injustice Theme Icon
Moore and his friend Justin have spent the day in Manhattan, window shopping for sneakers that they can’t afford. The... (full context)
Friendship, Family, and Brotherhood Theme Icon
Inclusion vs. Exclusion Theme Icon
Race, Inequality, and Injustice Theme Icon
Discipline and Violence  Theme Icon
Moore and Justin walk home, the smells of Jamaican, Chinese, and Puerto Rican food wafting through the air.... (full context)
Friendship, Family, and Brotherhood Theme Icon
Inclusion vs. Exclusion Theme Icon
Race, Inequality, and Injustice Theme Icon
Discipline and Violence  Theme Icon
Moore and Justin head home, and Moore mentions the rules of the street: don’t make eye contact, don’t... (full context)
Luck vs. Choice Theme Icon
Friendship, Family, and Brotherhood Theme Icon
Inclusion vs. Exclusion Theme Icon
Race, Inequality, and Injustice Theme Icon
Discipline and Violence  Theme Icon
Plagued by a constant feeling of alienation, Moore’s academic performance suffers. Justin encourages Moore to study harder in order to avoid probation. While Moore gives excuses, he... (full context)
Chapter 6: Hunted
Luck vs. Choice Theme Icon
Friendship, Family, and Brotherhood Theme Icon
Inclusion vs. Exclusion Theme Icon
Discipline and Violence  Theme Icon
...to the mailroom and finds that he has two letters from colleges and one from Justin. Moore is the only sophomore on the starting squad of the Valley Forge basketball team,... (full context)
Luck vs. Choice Theme Icon
Friendship, Family, and Brotherhood Theme Icon
Inclusion vs. Exclusion Theme Icon
Discipline and Violence  Theme Icon
Moore opens the letter from Justin. They have remained close friends in spite of a dean at Riverdale who, when the... (full context)
Epilogue
Luck vs. Choice Theme Icon
Friendship, Family, and Brotherhood Theme Icon
...Law School, and now lives with her husband. Uncle Howard was the “co-best man” (alongside Justin) at Moore’s wedding. Justin received a scholarship to college; during his senior year, his father... (full context)