As Ijeoma’s brother, Aham acts as a witness to some of the anecdotes she shares, including the racial abuse they experience from ignorant schoolchildren and people they thought were friends. The two decide to keep the painful experiences a secret from their white mother, knowing that she has enough on her plate trying to support her family and find professional success. This reflects a pattern common among minorities and entrenched in the minority community through America’s systemic racism, which states that white people need to be shielded from Black people’s pain. Aham also acts as a foil to Ijeoma, who loved school and found success there. Meanwhile, as a young Black boy, Aham was subject to many of the same stereotypes that afflict Sagan and other minority children. His intelligence and restlessness were misconstrued as aggressive, disruptive behaviors for which he was punished. He found an outlet through music, but that route to success is not guaranteed, and children like Aham and Sagan should have the right to an equal and safe educational environment to set them up for long-term success.