Deleted Scene 4 – Jeffrey’s Triple F.A.T. Goose Down Jacket

Removed from the Middle of Strategy 1

For black faces in white places, cultural identity struggles are common, if not inevitable. At 13 years old JR first realized he didn’t completely “connect” with his cousins and his black teammates on the church basketball team.

They were talking about brand name 8 ball and Triple F.A.T. goose down jackets – all my cousins had them. They’d say ‘You don’t have a Triple F.A.T. goose coat?’ And I was like, ‘no.’ They made it sound so good.

Other than scouring London for a pair of Reebok sneakers – during a church convention (they were a coveted and – believe it or not – a hard to get shoe in the U.S. at the time) – for JR the pressure to dress like his cousins and church friends waned once he returned to school in Parsippany. Triple F.A.T. goose jackets and a lot of the other styles that his cousins and teammates were interested weren’t worn in JR’s school.

It didn’t get reinforced in school so I tended to forget about it. I only heard that at church and that was only one day a week.

While JR found some relief from his feelings of being disconnected from other blacks when he went to school, social interactions with schoolmates can create their own set of identity issues. For instance, it’s commonly believed that “good kids” get good grades and don’t cause trouble. “Cool kids” dress a certain way, may or may not make good grades and typically shake things up a bit.

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