BookView Review: Black, White, and Gray All Over: A Black Man’s Odyssey in Life and Law Enforcement by Frederick Douglass Reynolds

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MindStir Media

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Pub date October 12, 2021

ISBN  979-8985010442

Price $24.99 (USD) Hardcover, $16.99 Paperback, $6.79 Kindle edition

Former cop and detective in Compton, CA, Reynolds chronicles his coming-of-age journey from a young Black boy born into a poverty-ridden, dysfunctional family to a distinguished, renowned police officer in a city synonymous with gangs, drive-by shootings, and gangster rap. Born to a strict, disciplinary mother and an alcoholic father, Reynolds spent his adolescent years robbing shops and departmental stores, stealing valuables, and doing recreational drugs. After a couple of juvenile arrests and jail time, Reynolds finds himself joining the Marine Corps and marrying a young woman. But when he failed to secure re-enlistment, he began working two jobs to feed his gradually-growing family. Landing a job as a security guard for the city of Compton proved to be a life-altering event for Reynolds; he soon joined the police force as a recruit and steadily moved through ranks, all thanks to his sheer will and determination. Reynolds, who has a long list of commendations and awards, candidly details his struggles with poverty, bullying, violence, and racism as a Black man, the pain and trauma of being a police officer and witnessing innocent men losing their lives to drugs and gang violence, and the government corruption. At the same time, he reveals the rewards of resilience and hard work. Reynolds’s account proves how compelling personal stories can be. This is a remarkable and heart-rending memoir that digs into what it means to be a man, particularly a policeman. Readers seeking both an inspiring coming-of-age tale of hardships and perseverance and better understanding of gray areas of police work will be greatly rewarded.


1 reply

  1. I read the book. As a retired Black police officer, l felt the pain and accomplishment in being in law enforcement. It is an excellent book.


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