Wes Moore Quotes On The Power Of Choice

Clifton Sankofa

Check out our The Other Wes Moore quotes and decide whether nature or nurture determines our fate

Since the beginning of human civilization people have been arguing which one determines our path, nature or nurture. 

The Other Wes Moore is the story about how our choices impact our life’s journey. 

What is The Other Wes Moore?

The Other Wes Moore is a New York Times best-selling book written by Wes Moore. 

The Other Wes Moore explores the following themes:

  • Family
  • Friendship
  • Brotherhood

Moore explains his upbringing and explores how his fate and the fate of another member of his community differ despite sharing a name.

Sometimes, a book hits so close to home that you can only shake your head in amazement. 

Much of my personal experience is mirrored in this book

My close friends and relatives often reflect the nature of my narrative and that of another young man from my community. 

For the sake of anonymity, let’s call this person Tony.

Tony and I lived in the same part of town; we came from the same community. 

We were both born in the middle of the 1980s to parents from different cultures. 

We each had an African-American parent and a European-American parent. 

And we were both born into an era where the presence of drugs increased significantly. 

In both of our cases, our parents fell victim to drugs and eventually contracted the AIDS virus and died. 

Tony did not graduate high school; he went to jail as a teenager for assault. 

Life has been difficult for Tony; acclimating to society after a felony charge is almost impossible. 

I managed to finish high school, and I went on to college. 

Over time, I amassed Master’s degrees in English, Teaching, and School Leadership. 

I have managed schools as a principal and taught hundreds of students as a teacher. 

Tony and I had the same conditions but much different results because of our choices. 

The Other Wes Moore is a book that proves stories like that of myself, Tony, and Wes Moore happen all of the time. 

You get what you give

All of us can achieve greatness, but sometimes, our conditions limit what we believe is possible. 

We can only be as great as we can imagine ourselves to be. 

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So, if we can only see ourselves as people who repeat the mistakes of our parents or succumb to the pressures from our conditions, it becomes difficult to dream big. 

Never forget to dream big!

While you are dreaming big, check out these awesome quotes from The Other Wes Moore

Short The Other Wes Moore quotes about dividing roads

We begin with these short quotes describing the differences between the main characters. 

1. “Wes was taught to forget, and never ask why.” — Wes Moore, The Other Wes Moore, Page 4

2. “I was taught to remember, but never question.” — Wes Moore, The Other Wes Moore, Page 4

3. “The tragedy is that my story could have been his.” — Wes Moore, The Other Wes Moore, Page Xi

4. “The chilling truth is that his story could have been mine.” — Wes Moore, The Other Wes Moore, Page Xi

5. “We learned our lessons well and were showing them off to a tee.” — Wes Moore, The Other Wes Moore, Page 4

The best The Other Wes Moore quotes about revisiting the past

These quotes remind us how fate has a funny way of proving there is no right or wrong in life. 

6. “I sat back, allowing Wes’s words to sink in.” — Wes Moore, The Other Wes Moore, Page 67

7. “There was no official ceremony that brought my childhood to an end.” — Wes Moore, The Other Wes Moore, Page 66

8. “To carry the burden of belief alone is too much for most young shoulders.” — Wes Moore, The Other Wes Moore, Page, 28

9. “I guess it’s hard sometimes to distinguish between second chances and last chances.” — Wes Moore, The Other Wes Moore, Page 67

10. “Young boys are more likely to believe in themselves if they know that there’s someone, somewhere, who shares that belief.” — Wes Moore, The Other Wes Moore, Page 28

The top The Other Wes Moore quotes about childhood and adulthood

These quotes remind us that sometimes, our age does not represent our level of maturity. 

11. “We sat there, just a few feet from each other, both silent, pondering an absence.” — Wes Moore, The Other Wes Moore, Page 4

12. “For some boys, this happens later in their late teens or even twenties, allowing them to grow organically into adulthood.” — Wes Moore, The Other Wes Moore, Page 66

13. “Instead, crises or other circumstances presented me with adult-sized responsibilities and obligations that I had to meet one way or another.” — Wes Moore, The Other Wes Moore, Page 66

14. “With every step on those cracked sidewalks, I passed a new signifier of urban decay. But I didn’t even realize it. I was a kid, and just happy to get out of the house.” — Wes Moore, The Other Wes Moore, Page 43

15. “But for some of us, the promotion to adulthood, or at least its challenges, is so jarring, is so sudden, that we enter into it unprepared and might be undone by it.” — Wes Moore, The Other Wes Moore, Page 66

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Check out these quotes about the divine spirit of motherhood. 

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16. “I couldn’t understand my mother’s anger.” — Wes Moore, The Other Wes Moore, Page 6

17. “She diligently listened to the radio from the time she was old enough to turn it on and mimicked what she heard.” — Wes Moore, The Other Wes Moore, Page 6

18. “When my mom first landed in the Bronx, she was just a small child, but she was a survivor and learned quickly.” — Wes Moore, The Other Wes Moore, Page 7

19. “She’d always pull back enough in her interactions with her classmates to give herself room to quietly observe them.” — Wes Moore, The Other Wes Moore, Page 7

20. “She studied the other kids at school like an anthropologist, trying desperately to fit in. She started with the way she spoke.” — Wes Moore, The Other Wes Moore, Page 7

Famous The Other Wes Moore quotes about embracing American accents

We end our list with these interesting quotes about how Wes’s mom learned an American accent. 

21. “Words like irie became cool.” — Wes Moore, The Other Wes Moore, Page 7

22. “Constable became policeman.” — Wes Moore, The Other Wes Moore, Page 7

23. “Easy-nuh became chill out.” — Wes Moore, The Other Wes Moore, Page 7

24. “She jumped into the melting pot with both feet.” — Wes Moore, The Other Wes Moore, Page 7

25. “The melodic, swooping movement of her Jamaican patois was quickly replaced by the more stable cadences of American English.” — Wes Moore, The Other Wes Moore, Page 7

What story do you tell about yourself?

The stories we tell ourselves define our experience. 

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From a young age, it was reinforced to Wes that he be driven and motivated. 

People from his neighborhood told themselves different stories and got different results. 

What is your favorite quote from The Other Wes Moore?

Let us know in the comments. 

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Clifton Sankofa
Clifton Sankofa has Master's degrees in English, Teaching, and School Leadership. He is a veteran educator and school leader. Clifton has built his career around teaching language arts, social-emotional learning, hip-hop(e), and vegan cooking. Across the country, Black and Brown communities die over preventable diseases. Clifton's aim is to help reverse this trend through cultural shifts. Using hip-hop and cultural-centered activities, he educates young people on how to reclaim their health and heritage through sustainable vegan eating, cooking practices, and literacy skills.
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