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Monday, November 6, 2023

To know how much there is to know is the beginning of learning to live.

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Dorothy West

Dorothy West is known as a prominent figure of the Harlem Renaissance, an early 20th-century movement celebrating African American art and culture that originated in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City. West began writing stories at just 7 years old and went on to shadow legendary writers including Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston. She became a prolific author in her own right, penning everything from newspaper articles to essays to novels. These words come from her short story “The Richer, The Poorer,” in which she contrasts the lives of two sisters with very different approaches to finances: Lottie works hard and saves, while Bess spends and travels. When they reunite in their older age and Lottie laments not “using [her] years,” proclaiming that she would have lived differently if she’d known she’d spend her whole life ceaselessly working, Bess responds with these words. Through Bess, West reminds us that we open up our lives to infinite possibilities when we recognize and understand the limitations of our knowledge and foresight.

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What singer said, "Being good to people is a wonderful legacy to leave behind"?
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