3 out of 4 stars
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In a world beset by blatant racism and undisguised hatred for people of color, the odds of personal and professional success are dramatically limited. Do you love books that explain the past in terms of how the environment impacts your chance of success? Or just books that motivate you never to give up? If yes, then, Overcoming Adversity by Nelson J. Fowlkes is a non-fictional book that highlights the themes of racism, adversity, and the power of faith in achieving your dreams.
Nelson J. Fowlkes is a black man who has high ambitions of attaining the pinnacle of professional success. But his poor background coupled with his skin color in an era where blacks were still seen as lesser humans poses significant barriers to achieving his dreams. Crisscrossing his career from high school education to college to military service, he was heckled and hounded on all fronts, primarily because of his skin color. How did Fowlkes navigate such a tenuous environment as a patriot and a business entrepreneur, and what lessons can we gain from his story? Read this book in detail to find out.
The introduction portion started as a book written to motivate people not to relent in the face of adversities, and the ensuing chapters did not disappoint. It seemed every stage of Nelson’s life was destined to encounter obstacles. And isn’t that true for all of us? But his determination to always seek alternate solutions, plus deep faith in the power of God, holds a lesson about grit for all of us. It was gratifying to see that some progress towards equality started from that era and has gained momentum till today, particularly the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
I like that the topic of racism was the dominant theme in this book. I was deeply impressed by how Nelson portrayed racism in its most naked form back in the twentieth century. It was a humiliating experience to see both institutions and individuals contrive to deprive fellow humans of growth opportunities solely because of their skin color. At times, it was almost hypocritical, seeing in Nelson’s case where he is deemed good enough to die for the country as military personnel but not good enough to enjoy other societal opportunities.
As much as racism was (and still is) an albatross for people’s dream actualization, I find it hard to believe that the only factor responsible for the author's failure is racism. For instance, he did not pass the cutoff score required for admission; he implied that he failed because of racism. He did not entertain the thought that he may have failed a couple of tests because of poor preparation, even though he acknowledged his early education was not of the best quality. For this reason, I am rating the book 3 out of 4 stars. Besides that, I enjoyed everything about the book.
I recommend this book to people that love political history and discussion on the impacts of racism in our society. The book gives some background information on the continually evolving issue of race and racial tensions in our modern society. On a final note, the book was well edited because I found only two grammatical errors.
Overcoming Adversity ( Relaunched)
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