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Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite
Naked Truth: A Fight Against Racism, Religious Discrimination, and Retaliation in My Federal Government Career is a memoir written by Jean D. Francis, Ph.D., that offers readers an intimate and insightful perspective on workplace discrimination within the U.S. federal government. In the lead-up to the premature end of a respectable career, the professional autobiography of Dr. Francis' career in the federal government starts with how she found her way into civil service, and the delicate balancing act of flourishing within her own profession alongside her husband's in the military. Eighteen years on and Dr. Francis had worked for various government agencies, all ultimately culminating in abuses of power stemming from systemic discrimination, racism, and unlawful retaliation. The subsequent seven years were characterized by a relentless battle against a government machine that felt like it was anything but for the people, and just who the people it appeared to really be for were. “I am a warrior for justice to the end. I have a strong fighting spirit hardwired in my DNA. I gain strength from knowing that my ancestors struggled and survived against much worse atrocities that threatened to destroy them. But they never give up.”
As a man of color who works in the civil service and who grew up as the first generation in my family not to have been born under colonial rule, Naked Truth by Jean D. Francis, Ph.D. is the book that I never previously would have allowed myself to read, but in the current political and social climate found that it was necessary. First of all, putting blinders on was not a great move and I'm so grateful that Dr. Francis came along when I was ready to remove them. Throughout the entire book, it felt like she was speaking directly to me. The work on its own is persuasive and Dr. Francis is clearly a profoundly honest and straightforward professional, but not everyone is going to take her word for it. Well, Dr. Francis kept the receipts. From documented proof of accomplishments that were intentionally left off performance evaluations to emails that contradict the assertions of different officials by their own hand, all of Dr. Francis' complaints have strong legs to stand on. In addition to what transpired, readers are also provided with what should have happened and how to do better in the future. Overall, this is an exceptional memoir with teeth. Very highly recommended.