I was born in a very poor section of Brooklyn on December 7,1941. There were five persons in my family including my father, my mother, my two sisters and myself. I was the only son, and my childhood was spent playing in the streets with the other boys and getting into troubles. I was often punished by my parents and teachers.
After elementary school, where I had been an average student, I went to a vocational high school① in my neighborhood. My friends were all boys who cared nothing about studying and my grades went from bad to worse.
From the time I entered the second high school, I began to take an interest in my studies and my grades improved. I started to listen to the other students discuss intelligent issues②and soon I began to take part in. One day, someone asked me to join the Negro Culture Club where the students discussed the contributions of the Negro race. Now my eyes were really opened. For the first time, I learned that my race had many famous people who had played an important role in world history. I was filled with a new sense of pride and self-respect. From then on, I read every book in the school library on Negro history. Also during these high school years, I met many officials from the new African nations. Because most of them spoke French, I learned to speak French and then went on to teach myself Spanish. In my senior year, I was elected president of my class. My goals were now definite and I knew I want to continue my education.
Going to college was difficult for me because my family was very poor and needed my help with money. My mother, however, encouraged me and insisted that I continue my education. Therefore, when I graduated from high school, I started attending night college and working all day. After two years I changed to day college and a part-time job. Now I am a fulltime student in my junior year③, majoring in international relations and economics④.
It is difficult for a young man to speak of his philosophy of life, but I believe it is very important for every person to have a sense of pride and dignity⑤in his own worth. My aim in life is to help my people become better off economically. Also, I would like to do something to help mankind and to promote brotherhood⑥among all men of all nations, no matter what color they are.
①vocational [v u＇keiM nl] high school 职业中学
②intelligent issue[in＇telidN nt ＇isju:] 智力问题
③junior[＇dNu:nj ] year （大学）三年级
④majoring in international relations and economics 主修国际关系和经济学
⑥promote brotherhood [pr ＇m ut ＇br)J hud] 促进兄弟般的关系