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When asked what prompted him to write The Jacket, Mr. Clements says: "If a white kid grows up in the majority culture in America, sooner or later there will come a realization that children from other races may have had a very different experience, may have lived in a different America. I vividly remember that realization in my own life. I wanted to write a story about that moment when unconscious prejudices rise to the surface, a story that would both explore differences and emphasize our common humanity."