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HENRY AND HIS FRIEND
HENRY HAD BEEN IN Lytham for two months, and he was very unhappy. Henry’s father was Jamaican. He had studied medicine in Britain and married a British nurse, Henry’s mother. And now they had moved to Lytham in Lancashire where his father had a new job at the hospital.
There had been pupils of all colours at Henry’s old school in Birmingham, but here he was the only non-white – not only at the school, but in the whole town, it seemed.
The pupils at Henry’s new school were quite friendly. But whenever Henry invited anybody to his house, there was always a reason why they couldn’t come. And he was never invited round to anybody else’s house.
All the pupils listened to the latest records, of course. One week the record of a new reggae band suddenly went to the top of the charts. Everybody was singing it. Henry’s father was very proud of being Jamaican, and had a very good collection of reggae music recorded in Jamaica.
When Phil Draper, one of the boys in Henry’s class, happened to hear this, , he asked Henry to come over to his house and bring some of the cassettes belonging to his father.
For three weeks, Henry was very happy. Most evenings he used to take some cassettes to Phil’s, and they listened to them. But one day, he asked Phil if he should come round that evening, and Phil answered, “Tell me when you’re got some new cassettes,” and walked away. The next evening, Henry cycled round to Phil’s house, but mother said, “Sorry, Phil just gone out on his bike.” Yet Henry could hear someone playing reggae music – his reggae music. And the bike standing in the garage was Phil’s.
At the next time Henry and his parents visited Birmingham, Henry went to a special music shop selling the latest reggae music from Jamaica, and spent all his money on cassettes. At school on Monday he said to Phil, “Can I come round tonight? – I’ve got some terrific new reggae cassettes.” “Not reggae! I can’t think what I saw in reggae. Old Sixties’ music, the Beatles, Elvis Presley, that’s the greatest. If your dad should have any of those, let me know.”
A few days later, Mrs Draper, Phil’s mother, was reading the local newspaper. “Just listen to this,” she said to Phil. “I told you didn’t trust that black boy. You could never tell what he was thinking, could you?” and she read out, “Yesterday the manager of the “Music Box” caught a black youth, Henry C., shoplifting. The twenty cassettes found in his pockets were all of Sixties music. The manager said, “I had noticed the boy standing beside the cassettes for quite a long time, as if he couldn’t make up his mind. When I looked again, I saw him running out of the shop.” The boy’s father said, “I don’t understand this at all. My son doesn’t even like Sixties music.”
Answer the questions to the text:
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