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In 1940, Jack Geiger, at the age of fourteen, left his middle-class Jewish home and knocked on the door of a black actor named Canada Lee. He asked Lee if he could move in with him. Lee said yes, and in Lee's Harlem apartment, Geiger spent a year with many of the great figures of the Harlem renaissance: Langston Hughes, Billy Strayhorn, Richard Wright, Adam Clayton Powell. This is what Geiger ended up doing because of that experience.
A side note: It turns out there's a movie in which Canada Lee takes a white teenager under his wing and counsels him, as he did for Jack Geiger in real life. The film is called Lost Boundaries. (11 minutes)