One of the best books about how racial perceptions develop that I have ever read. Conley takes his own childhood and makes it into much more than either a memoir or a case study. Through his story he explores the social conditions of white, Afro-American, and Hispanic American children on the Lower East Side of New York City. In hindsight he is able to see how his race identity as a white person developed, and how he and the other children in his neighborhood became aware of race. Conley captures a particular history of social classes during the 20th century, and it's a thoroughly engaging story as well.