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We all knew that weirdo loner kid from seventh grade. He was the strange kid who shuffled around the hallways with his head down, and always sat in the desk as far away from everyone else as possible. Sometimes bullies would pick on him, but mostly the other kids ignored him. He hardly ever spoke, and never rose his hand in class to offer an answer to a question. Nobody knew what he was thinking, and nobody cared, not even the teachers. But he nursed silent grudges, lots of them. Grudges against the popular kids he thought were always talking behind his back plotting his demise, against the cute girls who never acknowledged him, against authority figures who didn’t understand his deep deep pain. These grudges would simmer for months, building to a boil, until one day one of the cool kids accidentally bumped into him while he was standing at his locker, and he turned around in a rage, his eyes on fire, and rained blows down upon that kid, screaming obscenities at the top of his cracking voice. The outburst startled everyone who witnessed it. A teacher rushed up, dragging him away from his hapless victim lying on the floor.
Henry Louis Gates Junior is that weirdo loner kid.