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I think James does finally achieve his motive. To supplement his formal education, James sought a "street education" in Louisville, Kentucky, where he stayed during the summers he was in high school. In Louisville, he frequented "the Corner", where Chicken Man offered him good advice, dispelling his naive belief that being a man on "the Corner" was a desirable life. Chicken Man insisted that he concentrate on his education, and that he try to pursue a better life. James visits his mother's past and comes to terms with his mother as a person rather than a white Jew bringing up bi-racial children.