This is the story of a twelve year old, Robert, who does not understand the meaning of skin color. When he learns that his grandmother is a white woman, he becomes even more confused. Nevertheless, he continues to fight for what is right, and in the poetry that he often writes it comes out in his poem, Somehow I Never Was a Boy. His grandmother is very proud of him and his poetry, and tells him to keep on feeling the way that he feels.
Robert becomes well liked by the Negro population and continues to fight for them. In spite of his love for his own people, and for his grandmother, a white woman, his own people turn against him when he wants to be a leader for the rights of segregation in public schools. At a meeting where he is asked to be that leader, the other Negro children stand up against him.