As the narrator walks down the street, he encounters a vendor selling yams, and the scent of the yams brings back memories of a personal history,  evoking a wave of nostalgia. “I took a bite, finding it as sweet and hot as any I’d ever had, and was overcome with such a surge of homesickness that I turned away to keep my control. I walked along, munching the yam, just as suddenly overcome by an intense feeling of freedom – simply because I was eating while walking along the street. It was exhilarating” (264). This embrace of his southern roots marks a start contrast from his time at college, where he made a conscious effort to distance himself from anything to do with black identity. This is an important moment for the narrator, because he his no longer ashamed of something that is inherently ingrained in his identity.  This contrasts starkly with his memories with classmates, where “you could cause us the greatest humiliation simply by confronting us with something we likes”(264). This is a symbol of maturity; the narrator now appreciates aspects of his culture, rather than shunning them.