47 pages 1 hour read

Jacqueline Woodson

After Tupac and D Foster

Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 2008

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Important Quotes

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Content Warning: This section contains discussions of race, racism, racial identity, anti-gay bias, gun violence and fatalities, wrongful conviction/imprisonment, and the foster system.

“‘It’s like I look at him and see myself. It’s like I’m looking in a mirror,’ D said.”

(Part 1, Chapter 1, Page 10)

Early in the novel, D explains to her friends how she relates to Tupac. His lyrics about mothers abandoning their babies are particularly meaningful to D, because her mother has left her in foster care.

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“It’s like he sees stuff, you know? And he knows stuff. And he be thinking stuff that only somebody who knows that kinda living deep and true could know and think.”

(Part 1, Chapter 1, Page 11)

D is amazed at Tupac’s wisdom and ability to channel his experiences into music that people connect with so strongly. Because she has been through a lot of challenging things, she knows that he is speaking authentically. The book therefore frames Tupac as a cultural icon with whom Black people like D—whose experiences are chronically underrepresented—can identify.

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“And then it made sense to me—crazy-fast sense in a way it hadn’t before. D walked out of her own life each time she stepped into one of those other places. She got off the bus or walked up out of the subway and her life disappeared, got replaced by that new place, those new strangers—like big pink erasers.”

(Part 1, Chapter 1, Page 18)

This is a moment where the narrator gets new insight into D and her life. She realizes that she loves to roam because it gives her the chance to forget her life and experience other people’s lives for a short time. This quote also shows that the narrator is perceptive and is trying hard to understand D.