Featured Official Review: Defining Moments of a Free Man from a Black Stream [July 2019 Book of the Month]

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EmunahAn
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Featured Official Review: Defining Moments of a Free Man from a Black Stream [July 2019 Book of the Month]

Post by EmunahAn » 09 Jan 2019, 10:44

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Defining Moments of a Free Man from a Black Stream" by Dr Frank L Douglas.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Defining Moments of a Free Man from a Black Stream is Dr. Frank L. Douglas’ passionate memoir. After landing a scholarship through relentless dedication, Douglas leaves the then British Guiana for the U.S. to study at Lehigh University and later at Cornell University Medical School. The culture shock he experiences after arrival leaves an impact on him. He witnesses levels of racial discrimination like he has never seen before. In many cases later, he also becomes a victim of this wrong ideology. Douglas joins The Johns Hopkins Hospital and during his residency, he receives a National Institutes of Health fellowship to work as a Clinical Research Associate. Through his journey in medical research and academia, Douglas’ life continues to reflect on identity, political dynamics in British Guiana, racial discrimination in the U.S. and overcoming multiple obstacles to build a career.

I liked that the book reveals the trend of racial discrimination in educational institutions and in business organizations. As an African American, Douglas faced many cases of racial discrimination. In one instance, he is denied a promotion because of his ethnicity. While in school, he also notices many cases of ethnicity-based favoritism. He embarks on researching the matter. The findings, which are upsetting, are revealed in the book.

I also liked that the memoir instills a spirit of hope despite the presence of daunting obstacles. Douglas’ life story is full of ups and downs. He grows up without knowing his real father and has to work extremely hard to secure a scholarship. Life in the U.S. is not everything that he had dreamed of. This does not stop him from pursuing his dreams and serving his community.

The author is also honest and blunt. He does tiptoe around major issues mostly preferring to state his opinion openly. This exudes a feeling of confidence in what is included in the book and the author’s perspective in general. I liked this direct way of writing as it cuts on unnecessary details and it let me know clearly where the author stood on various issues.

I also liked that the author included a powerful background highlighting incidences in his childhood that helped shape his fortitude. Growing up in poverty where he was mostly unsure of how he could afford his education, Douglas became aware of the challenges that faced others like him and worked hard to ensure he made the best out of available opportunities.

I did not like that the book contains a lot of technical descriptions. However, it is thoroughly edited. I only identified two errors. I rate Defining Moments of a Free Man from a Black Stream 4 out of 4 stars. It would appeal to readers who are fond of memoirs especially those that reflect on personal and ethnic identity and racial discrimination. Readers who are not fans of this genre or the themes mentioned may not enjoy the book.

******
Defining Moments of a Free Man from a Black Stream
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Post by Sen_Suzumiya » 19 Jan 2019, 08:03

It's horrible how racism is still a thing nowadays. More people should read books like this one to realize how hard is life for some people for no particular reason. This book is a great example of how people still judge people by the color of their skin. I'm not an African American and still, I think this treatment is unfair, all people are equal, the sooner everyone realizes that the better. Thank you for your review, I'm glad there're books like that in the world.
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Post by Jessacardinal » 19 Jan 2019, 13:58

Racism is a very sad and horrible thing. It sounds as if Dr. Douglas has persevered through every challenge he has faced. What a remarkable person!
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Post by kdstrack » 19 Jan 2019, 21:14

Memoirs are a journey into the author's mind. Dr. Douglas has an interesting story. I find it amazing that he was come to get to the US, study in institutions of higher education, and even publish a book! Great review. Thanks.

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Post by Itskai88 » 21 Jan 2019, 15:20

i like that Douglas’ life story teaches perseverance, he made the most of his life with what he got which wasn't much and it turned out great. Thank you for this lovely review.

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Post by kandscreeley » 21 Jan 2019, 17:36

I can't imagine the culture shock that the author went through. I can, however, imagine the prejudice. Still, memoirs aren't really my cup of tea. Therefore, I think I'll pass. Thanks, though.
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Post by Faithmwangi » 22 Jan 2019, 10:26

Dr. Douglas is quite the go-getter despite the challenges he faces. His story is proof of just how much one can achieve if they are relentless in their journey to success. Great review.
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Post by Alicia09 » 01 Feb 2019, 19:42

I think racial discrimination in higher education is still a major issue today. I'm glad Frank exposed this in a blunt manner. This is definitely going on my "want to read" list. Thanks!
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Post by DanaMarie6 » 08 Feb 2019, 09:28

This books in fact shows the trend of racism throughout society. It shows that slavery never truly ended, just slaves now have suppressed civil rights. It may not appeal to some persons. Due to of course, the natural biased instilled in SOME persons whom are too caught up in themselves and their skin color to differentiate right from wrong, sense from non-sense. We live in an society where persons of certain backgrounds ethnic groups, even persons who grew up by different means in terms of heir socioeconomic statuses, they have to keep proving themselves as though it isn't clear to see them for their genuine traits, their talents. I truly see this book as a wake up call. :text-dope:

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Post by sunbul manzoor » 29 Apr 2019, 14:28

persons like Douglas never stop doing hard work. despite of criticism on his race he did his best to achieve his goal. definitely hard work pays off. " i don't get disappointed anymore. i just be like 'oh again..okay!"

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Post by Lhisa » 01 May 2019, 07:02

As one who has personally been a victim of racial discrimination, I think that this would be a good book for me. Thank you for the review, it was well done and highlighted the main themes and important aspects of the book without giving too much away. I also love that he fought to keep doing what he loved despite the hate the color of his skin generated.

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Post by Lindsey Klaus » 01 May 2019, 13:08

It sounds like the book is very relevant to a modern audience. It's a shame racism is still so prevalent to this day, though it isn't a surprise. With white supremacy on the rise and reports of racial profiling, I think books like this need to be more widely read and talked about. It's important we acknowledge these issues- that's the first step in improving our society and the lives of all people in it.

Great review!

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Post by Ellylion » 02 May 2019, 08:29

Sounds like an inspiring yet heart-wrenching read. No one should be denied a promotion because of ethnicity, everyone has right to get higher education. I am very glad that all those obstacles didn't stop the author in pursuit of his dreams. Excellent review!

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Post by Wriley » 02 May 2019, 19:45

You didn't mention in the review when Dr. Douglas arrived in the U.S. which is 1963 from the book description. Dr. Douglas would have lived through many of the changes to laws targeting racism. I'm sure it's ironic how little has actually changed. I find it interesting that the title includes the words Free Man as opposed to a slave like its 1863 not 1963. This sounds like a book that targets what America wants to believe is the racism of the past yet seems to be present even today.
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Post by Dic45ta » 03 May 2019, 04:27

:shock2:
oaktreehill wrote:
02 May 2019, 19:45
You didn't mention in the review when Dr. Douglas arrived in the U.S. which is 1963 from the book description. Dr. Douglas would have lived through many of the changes to laws targeting racism. I'm sure it's ironic how little has actually changed. I find it interesting that the title includes the words Free Man as opposed to a slave like its 1863 not 1963. This sounds like a book that targets what America wants to believe is the racism of the past yet seems to be present even today.
I totally agree with you. I'm proud of Dr Douglas for persevering to the end.
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