For his sixth birthday, Ricky receives the best present ever, Mobo, a mechanical horse. With a few pumps of Ricky's legs, he and Mobo race across the floor. Nothing could be better!
Then Ricky's mom tells Ricky about the neighborhood block party and race. Children will compete to find out who is the fastest. Ricky is sure he and Mobo will win the race.
But when the big day comes, not everything goes according to Ricky's plans.
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IN THE COURSE OF WRITING THIS BOOK I have also discovered new meanings in the ongoing dialogue which reverberates around the themes of my own personal tale. In recounting the episodes of my journey, time has been condensed, reshaped, or obliterated and much of what is long past has been made to seem recent. A synthesis of all the various parts of me has created a whole new understanding of who and what I have become. The small boy with a speech impediment who sang to his kindergarten class about That Lucky Ole Sun; the student sit-in protester who bemoans the Lovin' and Hatin' Blues of racism; the young idealist who confronts a World Full of Gray and begs for Opportunity to Please Knock; the prodigal son who returns home to stand at his father's coffin and affirm himself as one Whose Got His Own; the blindly ambitious Dynamite pimp who is forced to see the terrible error of his ways; the former radical and member of The Talented Tenth who now, as corporate climber, must crash and burn at mid-life to start again; the strikingly talented, celebrated, but infamous entertainer, groundbreaker, and Hollywood icon who comes back from the grave to Confess and assert his legacy; and, of course, the husband, father, teacher, and friend who looks to the needs of all the residents on his famous Street and is loved for it by generations of young viewers; they and a multitude of others all commingle within my soul as metaphors and as tangible components of myself and the world that I have known. Their myriad songs of redemption, renewal, learning, and growth continue to accompany my dreams, to inform and inspire me in my pursuit of humanity's highest and most life-affirming goals.