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Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite
Defining Moments of a Free Man from a Black Stream by Dr. Frank L. Douglas is the autobiography of its author's extraordinary life. Douglas' memoir begins with the introduction of his turbulent and abusive upbringing in a home where he always felt an outsider in a country ruled by outsiders. There was no place for an ambitious young black man whose youth was blighted by poverty in mid-20th century colonial Guyana. Through perseverance, intelligence, and an incredible amount of grit, Douglas rose above systemic racism and subjugation in an ascent that transformed his life and all those who benefited from his extensive work and contributions to a wide-ranging STEM field and innovation with pharmacology.
Dr. Frank L. Douglas' journey, as told in a straightforward narrative in the first-person, is conveyed in great detail in Defining Moments of a Free Man from a Black Stream. I found the precarious balancing act of family, work, and faith to be singularly notable wherein any of these three areas may have tempted Douglas to abandon his moral compass. While the memoir places a heavy focus on milestones throughout Douglas' education and career, it was the personal trials that I found to be most interesting. There is a string of familial losses that were hard to read through in the author's tempestuous past and his own personal struggles connecting the responsibility of family with matters of personal faith. I admit I was stung a bit by some of Douglas' broad views on topics, but overall I enjoyed the armchair adventure I received in the sharing of the author's life. I believe the book will be treasured by his family and descendants for generations to come.