The story “Not Poor, Just Broke” is a short story with only 3 pages, but meaningful and it was written by Dick Gregory. This story tells of Richard who felt sorry and ashamed to himself when he was 7 years old as a result of discrimination and poverty. In the story Richard was in love with a little girl named Helene Tucker, a light-completed little girl with pigtails and nice manners. She was always clean and she was smart in school. He loved her for her goodness, her cleanness, and her popularity. Because of love made Richard become a nice boy. He brushed his hair and always had an old lady’s handkerchief in his pocket because he didn’t want Helene see him wipe his nose on his hand and he cleaned his clothes everyday.
Richard always struggled in his life. When there was no water in the house, he scooped out some chopped ice and let it melt to get water for washing his socks and his only clothes. In order to stop his hunger, he ate paste sometimes. Plus, he shined shoes and sold papers so he had enough money to by himself a daddy on the Negro Payday. Because he didn’t want anybody know that he didn’t have a daddy. So he did hard work to get money to donate on that day. However, what the teacher did towards him was not good. This is because she seemed to ignore him and thought he was an idiot and a troublemaker, couldn’t spell, read or do arithmetic. But teachers were never interested in finding the reason why Richard couldn’t concentrate on the lessons. Furthermore, she did not accept his money, and she said, “We are collecting this money for you and your kind, Richard Gregory. If your daddy can give fifteen dollars you have no business being on relief.” Then she added, “We know you don’t have a Daddy.” Because of the teacher’s careless speech made Richard felt ashamed with everyone in class, then he walked out of school that day, and for a long time he couldn’t go back very often.
After that day, he thought that the whole world had been inside the classroom, everyone had heard what teacher had said and they had turned around and felt sorry for him. He was ashamed in going to the Worthy Boys Annual Christmas Dinner, in wearing the brown and orange and white plaid mackinaw. There was shame on running over Mister Ben’s at the end of the day and asking for his rotten peaches, there was shame in asking Mrs. Simmoms for a spoonful of sugar, and there was shame in running out to meet the relief truck. At the end, there were many shames for him after everyone knew that he didn’t have a Daddy.