In 1944 we had a new student named Roger —— the first black student in our school， and everyone was unfriendly to him. The other kids weren't bad children； they were just copying their parents. But when you are twelve years old， you're just starting to have your own opinions about things. I knew this could be a very important moment in their education. So I wanted to do something to change their opinions.
I decided I had to try to make Roger into someone special.Not like a teacher's pet —— I wanted the other children to start seeing him as a human being， not just a dark shape in the back room. So I went after him with questions in every class. He was a bright little boy， and it was easy enough to make him appear smart. I was pretty pleased because I could see Roger becoming more confident and other kids stopped being so nasty to him.
But you know what really changed everything？ One day I could see Roger's mind was wandering， and without thinking I threw an eraser in his direction. I only meant to get his attention， but the eraser hit his hand and sent his pencil flying.The whole class roared！ And afterwards， of course， all the kids went up to Roger to laugh with him about it. That's how he became someone special， and other kids began to talk to him and make friends with him. And that's how I became “Dead-Eye Bean.”