Overcoming Adversity: Resetting Goals
by Nelson J Fowlkes
Author Reputation Press

"As I sat there, I wondered how this type of treatment could occur in a house of worship where love should abound, not evil.... Immediately after the close of service, the minister came up and apologized for the display of racism."

Fowlkes was born in Tennessee in 1934, never certain of his father's identity. He only knew that he was a source of contention between his parents. He moved around the Deep South and Midwest through childhood and adolescence, lacking a permanent home's stability. Poor and African American, he grew up in the final three decades before the civil rights movement. Mercifully, young Fowlkes was raised in the African Methodist Episcopal tradition and embraced a steadfast Christian faith. This bolstered him as he encountered institutional racism while obtaining two graduate degrees and serving seventeen years in the U.S. military. Release from the service following racially motivated rejection for promotion left Fowlkes feeling lost and hopeless. Could his faith in God, his supportive family, and his unstoppable zest for adventure save Fowlkes from the urge to surrender to despair?

Within these pages, Fowlkes tells the candid story of his life. Despite prevalent racism in America, he is a proud patriot who served as a U.S. soldier from 1958 until 1975. He provides a fascinating account of being protected, in some ways, from discrimination because he resided on a military base, although discrimination ultimately led to his release from active duty. Institutional racism made a deep impression on him, particularly as he experienced the disparities between the college prep available for white high school students and what was open to blacks. Fans of inspirational memoirs will admire Fowlkes's resilience and versatility as he tells of embarking on a civilian career in health care and health care administration. Later still, he and his wife opened a travel agency. Well into his seventies, the author, an avid bicyclist, participated in long-distance bike rides. His relentless passion for everything he does drives this compelling narrative forward.

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