Turning points in the story

Use this forum to discuss the July 2019 Book of the month, "Defining Moments of a Free Man from a Black Stream" by Dr Frank L Douglas.
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briellejee
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Turning points in the story

Post by briellejee » 08 Jul 2019, 00:59

Early on, the author recalled about the time where he attempted suicide when he was a boy overwhelmed with emotions. He was about to let himself fall over the edge but decided not to because of fear of drowning. Do you think this was a turning point in his life? That after this incident, he decided to turn his life around? For me, I think it was one of the instances that made him realize he could do better and life will be better. Another one was when he knew about his real father. Are there any other instances like this in the book that you think are turning points in the author's life?
"All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost"

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Post by Kibetious » 08 Jul 2019, 08:00

The decision not to end his life is probably the most important turning point for him. The others may have played a role but it seems realizing he could do much better did play a huge role in his life.
​​​​​​He gives strength to those who are tired; to the ones who lack power, he gives renewed energy :techie-studyinggray:

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Post by Wriley » 08 Jul 2019, 10:03

I think when he talked to Moms about his father was his turning point. He decided life would change for him and HE would make it change. I know twelve year Olds kill themselves but honestly I don't think suicide was ever going to happen for Frank. A kid like Frank who talked himself out of suicide by deduction, was not going to kill himself.
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Post by Nisha Ward » 08 Jul 2019, 11:24

Agreed with everyone above me and I'd like to add to that by pointing out that every major instance of racism he discusses has been a catalyst for some kind of change in his life, like when he left MIT over the Sherley incident.
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Post by briellejee » 08 Jul 2019, 22:13

Kibetious wrote:
08 Jul 2019, 08:00
The decision not to end his life is probably the most important turning point for him. The others may have played a role but it seems realizing he could do much better did play a huge role in his life.
Same here, I think that was the distinctive part of his past. I also think that a child realizing that moment was something mature enough for his age. I mean, even people who are adults tend to get lost in the heat of overwhelming emotions. But for a boy of his age, realizing he did not want to die was something rare and maybe even far-fetched to me. It takes great mental strength to overcome those thoughts. :techie-studyingbrown:
"All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost"

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briellejee
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Post by briellejee » 08 Jul 2019, 22:14

Nisha Ward wrote:
08 Jul 2019, 11:24
Agreed with everyone above me and I'd like to add to that by pointing out that every major instance of racism he discusses has been a catalyst for some kind of change in his life, like when he left MIT over the Sherley incident.
Yes, I agree that those racism incidents are one of the things that pushed him to make grand choices that somehow turned out well for him. :techie-studyingbrown:
"All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost"

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Post by Stephanie Elizabeth » 10 Jul 2019, 06:10

Kibetious wrote:
08 Jul 2019, 08:00
The decision not to end his life is probably the most important turning point for him. The others may have played a role but it seems realizing he could do much better did play a huge role in his life.
I agree. I saw this as his rock-bottom and everything after that was him moving forward with the motivation to do better and be better.

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Post by esp1975 » 11 Jul 2019, 10:39

I think there's a reason that the author began the book with that story of contemplating suicide and then not going through with it. Obviously, he sees that as a turning point in his life, and it is written as the point where he decides to take control (or as much control as he can) over his life. That one decision is the catalyst for everything that comes after.

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Post by MatereF » 11 Jul 2019, 10:49

esp1975 wrote:
11 Jul 2019, 10:39
I think there's a reason that the author began the book with that story of contemplating suicide and then not going through with it. Obviously, he sees that as a turning point in his life, and it is written as the point where he decides to take control (or as much control as he can) over his life. That one decision is the catalyst for everything that comes after.
I agree with you, the decision not to kill himself did it for him when he realised that there's more ahead.
"The courage to imagine the otherwise is our greatest resource". Daniel J Boorstin

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Post by MatereF » 11 Jul 2019, 10:57

briellejee wrote:
08 Jul 2019, 22:13
Kibetious wrote:
08 Jul 2019, 08:00
The decision not to end his life is probably the most important turning point for him. The others may have played a role but it seems realizing he could do much better did play a huge role in his life.
Same here, I think that was the distinctive part of his past. I also think that a child realizing that moment was something mature enough for his age. I mean, even people who are adults tend to get lost in the heat of overwhelming emotions. But for a boy of his age, realizing he did not want to die was something rare and maybe even far-fetched to me. It takes great mental strength to overcome those thoughts. :techie-studyingbrown:
Getting lost in the heat of overwhelming emotions in the worst thing that can happen to anyone regardless of age. With the increase in cases of suicide, I guess we all need a turning point.
"The courage to imagine the otherwise is our greatest resource". Daniel J Boorstin

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Post by DC Brown » 11 Jul 2019, 21:00

briellejee wrote:
08 Jul 2019, 00:59
Early on, the author recalled about the time where he attempted suicide when he was a boy overwhelmed with emotions. He was about to let himself fall over the edge but decided not to because of fear of drowning. Do you think this was a turning point in his life? That after this incident, he decided to turn his life around? For me, I think it was one of the instances that made him realize he could do better and life will be better. Another one was when he knew about his real father. Are there any other instances like this in the book that you think are turning points in the author's life?
A turning point he didn't mention was his marriage, bringing his wife to the States, and having children. Those are also major things that impact life.

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Post by DC Brown » 11 Jul 2019, 21:03

I felt there were many turning points in his life. He got engaged before he left his home country, and at some point, evidently married and had children. He stuck with that early decision just as he stuck to his later choices. He was true to himself.

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briellejee
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Post by briellejee » 19 Jul 2019, 00:46

Stephanie Elizabeth wrote:
10 Jul 2019, 06:10
Kibetious wrote:
08 Jul 2019, 08:00
The decision not to end his life is probably the most important turning point for him. The others may have played a role but it seems realizing he could do much better did play a huge role in his life.
I agree. I saw this as his rock-bottom and everything after that was him moving forward with the motivation to do better and be better.
Same here. That actually might be the biggest turning point in his life that made him who he is now. :tiphat:
"All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost"

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briellejee
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Post by briellejee » 19 Jul 2019, 00:48

esp1975 wrote:
11 Jul 2019, 10:39
I think there's a reason that the author began the book with that story of contemplating suicide and then not going through with it. Obviously, he sees that as a turning point in his life, and it is written as the point where he decides to take control (or as much control as he can) over his life. That one decision is the catalyst for everything that comes after.
I think you worded it better than anyone else. "Taking control" of his life was something he learned there and then. I agree it being the catalyst of his story. This also shows how he was able to be resilient through and through when he went to college. Thanks for this! :tiphat:
"All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost"

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briellejee
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Post by briellejee » 19 Jul 2019, 00:49

MatereF wrote:
11 Jul 2019, 10:49
esp1975 wrote:
11 Jul 2019, 10:39
I think there's a reason that the author began the book with that story of contemplating suicide and then not going through with it. Obviously, he sees that as a turning point in his life, and it is written as the point where he decides to take control (or as much control as he can) over his life. That one decision is the catalyst for everything that comes after.
I agree with you, the decision not to kill himself did it for him when he realised that there's more ahead.
I'm also glad that he was able to be rational while he was standing at the edge. Some people don't have that small realization by themselves, so kudos to the author for having a strong mentality. :tiphat:
"All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost"

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