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Now that everyone's seated, how does Sidney feel about having a dinner thrown in his honor? "Well, it would be the sixth time I've pinched myself because of this gathering," he says. "I am greatly honored by it. Greatly honored by your presence and I'm looking forward to the exchange. It isn't just the dinner that brought me here."

Dinner guest Dawnn tells Sidney that she's loved him since she was 8 years old. As a young, single mother raising two boys 25 years ago, she says Sidney's life and works have taken on significant meaning in her life.

"I was 21 years old and … I saw your [first] autobiography in the bookstore, and I just snatched it. And every night after I put the kids to bed, I would just start reading your book and I just fell in love with you even more," Dawnn says. "Every time I wanted to make a point, if I wanted to stress education, I wanted to stress that they can do anything that they wanted to do, I would always tell them about you. Always. I've just always admired you."


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