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The first time I met thirteen-year-old Christian Martinez, he told me he was fifteen. He was an athletic-looking kid without a pinch of fat who wore a white tank top and sported the close-cropped fade common to East Austin Latino boys in the late aughts. He sat on a hillside bench in the dead center of the Booker T. Washington Terraces, one of Austin’s oldest housing projects, with a boy named Juan, whom I would never see again, and a pudgy kid called Big Boy, who never left Christian’s side. When I explained that I was a University of Texas student working on a journalism project and wanted to ask him about life in his neighborhood, Christian was surprisingly eager to talk. As a steady…
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