Spirit and Soul: Odyssey of a Black Man in America
Spirit and Soul: Odyssey of a Black Man in America, Volume One, an engaging, edifying autobiography by Theodore Kirkland, offers critical insight and politically cognizant commentary on the past, future and real-time reality of race relations in America.
His long career in law enforcement some 39 years total as a military police officer, Buffalo police officer, New York State parole board commissioner and adjunct professor begins by happenstance in the Air Force. Instead of being sent to gunnery school as he requested, he is ordered to report to the Army Military Police Academy in Camp Gordon, Georgia.
Kirkland's narrative voice in this page turner is clear, self-effacing and relentlessly candid unapologetic for the black and white of his experience, and cautionary in his instruction for navigation through the gray. Yet in every syllable, there is a remarkable, palpable love for his family, friends and community and unyielding commitment to upholding the Constitutional promise that "all men are created equal."
Spirit and Soul: Odyssey of a Black Man in America, Volume One is at once witty and wise; poignant, wistful and meticulously illustrative of an American perspective too often shadowed by stereotypes that contend that Black men contribute primarily to the prison population. It also is an important chronology of the evolution of African American life and experience from Jim Crow to contemporary "Post-racial America."
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