MY father grew up in severe poverty. He didn't get the glasses he needed until drafted into the army. His father abandoned the family during the Depression. These times were hardest on black families, black women especially. MY father got a college degree from UCLA with HONORS. And worked for LA County, as a juvenile probation officer. Becoming a surrogate father to the very boys of which Elder speaks. However, these boys couldn't come up with any excuses, my father had been WORSE off than most of them. My father died when I was fifteen, leaving ME without a father. But still with his values, and his friends telling me I'm just like him. His first born daughter.