Edmund Perry

1037 Words 5 Pages
On June 12th, 1985 Officer Lee Van Houten was attacked by two young, black men who tried to mug him. The youngest of the boys, Edmund Perry, my client was shot by the officer. The jury has just convicted Edmund on charges of assault, battery and resisting arrest, crimes of which are punishable with sentences of up to 30 years.
However I do not believe Edmund attentively committed the crimes because of his remarkable character and academic achievements. Instead, he did it as a result of the expectations of him at Exeter, his home in Harlem, and the local junior high school
Wadleigh, all of which are conflicting against each other.

Exeter is a prestigious school known round the world. When thinking about
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Not only more work (at Exeter five hours of homework was the norm), not only harder play (all were required to play a sport every season), but more responsibility- to themselves, to their school, to their family and country.” (180) The students at Exeter are well aware of what they have to accomplish. The 40 colored students of Edmunds class might have felt pressure to succeed more than their white peers. On a daily basis Edmund had to prove that he could do what the white students were capable of. This caused him to feel inadequate because he had to try harder and put in more effort than they did. Whatever Edmund did he would never be considered as equal when compared to his white peers.

Secondly, Edmund also had great expectations from his mother, Veronica Perry who had many struggles in her life. However, regardless of her faults she strived for the best education she could attain. This yearning was something she instilled in her children. “They are bringing you up here because they want to learn about black people.
They want to learn about black people they want to learn about their world. You have to teach them, and you have to learn about their world. You have to learn about it because you have to fit into it…” (Anson, 85) In Veronica’s eyes it was up to Eddie to prove that he could survive in a white world, he had to prove that it wasn’t difficult for blacks. “…a black student received a threatening letter in the

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