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Reviewed by Foluso Falaye for Readers' Favorite
In Black, White, and Gray All Over, Frederick Douglass Reynolds recounts how he navigated life's hurdles from childhood until he retired from law enforcement. Born into a dysfunctional home and a violent community in Detroit, he followed a path of crime and recklessness to the disappointment of his mother. However, he turned his life around after moving to Compton and joining the police force but continued to battle different challenges, including racism and protests about racism, corrupt coworkers, the widespread issues of drug abuse, serious crime and violence, divorce, fatherhood, threats, and more. Fortunately, Frederick, who became an award-winning homicide detective, survived through it all to tell his emotionally-charged and deeply insightful story.
Black, White, and Gray All Over reminded me why I love memoirs as its adroit combination of highly intricate descriptions, rich historical information, and profound insights made it quite easy to picture the events and live in another's reality for a moment. Just thinking about the terrible, violent acts of humans that Frederick Douglass Reynolds witnessed as a police officer in Compton sends a chill down my spine; I can't imagine how emotionally challenging it would have been for the author to see babies and innocent adults suffer from different attacks. The book's historical information about Detroit and Compton is quite thorough and intriguing. Memoirs like Black, White, and Gray All Over help us to appreciate the simple things in life like peace and love, and the seriousness of or the need to fix some prominent societal problems. All in all, I learned a lot and was seriously moved by the book. You should definitely read it.