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Formats
Ebook Details
  • 08/2018
  • B09JF9VB4Z
  • 477 pages
  • $6.99
Paperback Book Details
  • 08/2021
  • 9781638485216
  • 396 pages
  • $16.99
Frederick Reynolds
Author
Black, White, and Gray All Over: A Black Man's Odyssey in Life and Law Enforcement

Adult; Memoir; (Publish)

This book is about a Black cop who took an unlikely path to his chosen profession, ultimately working in law enforcement for 32 years in the city of Compton and surrounding areas in Los Angeles County. The book tackles police brutality, political corruption, the murders of police officers, and race relations in America. The most important aspect of this book, however, is that it is not just another "cop" book, but rather a book about a Black man who just happens to be a cop.      

Plot/Idea: 9 out of 10
Originality: 9 out of 10
Prose: 9 out of 10
Character/Execution: 9 out of 10
Overall: 9.00 out of 10

Assessment:

Idea: Told with true grit and unabashed honesty, Reynolds’s account of his police work in 80s and 90s Compton, California  is an eye-opening tale that serves to change perspectives on law enforcement. This fast-paced story is full of shocking, and not-so-shocking, truths on crime and how it's combatted.

Prose: Reynolds is a gifted storyteller; his sharp diction and well-rounded descriptions make for a thoroughly enjoyable read. His memories of his past seem photographic, with details down to the cigarettes that were smoked and the music that was played, meticulously remembered.

Originality: Black, White, and Gray All Over gives readers a rare look at what it was like to be a Black police officer in one of the United States’ most crime-ridden neighborhoods. Reynolds shares honest critiques of the department, the elected officials of the period, his colleagues, and even himself.

Character/Execution: It’s clear that Reynolds is an observer at heart. Through specific physical descriptions and analytic personality details, he’s able to bring his characters to life, from the officers he spends hours working with, to the gang members he arrests. His ability to empathize adds a heartening dimension to the narrative.

Blurb: This memoir gives a glimpse behind the curtain of police work, and will serve to challenge stereotypes about officers, criminals, and the politics at play in law and order.

Date Submitted: January 04, 2022

Reviews
BookView Review

Black, White, and Gray All Over; A Black Man's Odyssey in Life and Law Enforcement by Frederick Douglass Reynolds

by THEPRAIRIESBOOKREVIEW on JANUARY 2, 2022 

A 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 the 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 remarkable and heart-rending memoir digs into what it means to be a man, particularly a policeman. Readers seeking both an inspiring coming-of-age tale of hardships,  perseverance, and a better understanding of gray areas of police work will be greatly rewarded.   

Rated: Highly Recommended 

Onlinebookclub

Review of Black, White, and Gray All Over by Brendan Donaghy Posted: 27 Oct 2021, 07:14

Black White And Gray All Over, by Frederick Douglass Reynolds, is subtitled A Black Man’s Odyssey In Life And Law Enforcement. It tells the story of the author’s thirty-two years as a patrol cop and detective in Compton, California. Plagued by gang crime, Compton resembled a war zone at the time Reynolds worked the streets. He enjoyed a stellar career with the police and won many awards and accolades for his work, but his life could so easily have taken a much darker path. He had a troubled upbringing in Detroit and spent time in juvenile custody as a teenager. He could so easily have followed the same path as many of his contemporaries and ended up in jail for a long time or, worse, dead. Instead, he joined the Marines and, from there, Compton Police Department.

In this book, the author gives us an insight into the life of a cop policing a community devastated by drugs. We get to see the dangers police officers face daily and how some of them end up paying with their lives. We also get to see a community failed by its civic leaders and degraded by violence and drug addiction. Reynolds writes without fear or favor, calling out corruption and incompetency in both the police force and the council. When he praises colleagues, you know that it’s merited. If Reynolds pulls no punches when he writes about others, he is possibly even harder on himself. The author’s personal life is laid out alongside his professional travails, and he lists his own failings with unflinching honesty.

I loved this book from start to finish. Whether he’s describing the Compton Police Department, his family, or the corruption of city officials, the author’s writing burns with intensity. Love, rage, regret, grief, and pride jump from every page. Reynolds is an intelligent, well-read individual and he writes like one. I also liked the wisdom of some of his observations on policing, the justice system, and racism, particularly pertinent in the United States post-George Floyd. He is a proud Black man who faces up to racism when he encounters it, but he also warns against using racism as ‘a get out of jail free card.’ He writes: ‘Just because racism still exists, it does not mean that every time a Black person gets shot or arrested, it is because of racism. If everything is racist, then nothing is.’ (P104)

There was little that I disliked about this book. If I had to name one thing, I would perhaps mention that there are a lot of acronyms in the text. That's probably unavoidable when you're describing police procedures. To be fair, the author explains most of the ones he uses, but occasionally this reader found himself wondering about the meaning of a particular set of letters. 

I am happy to award this book four out of four stars. I found only a handful of minor errors in what is quite a lengthy text, so I think it has been professionally edited. It is a book for adults only; the author uses strong language in places, while some of the scenes and situations he describes are unsuitable for young readers. I recommend the book to those who enjoy true-life cop dramas and autobiographies.  

The Prairies Book Review

Black, White, and Gray All Over; A Black Man's Odyssey in Life and Law Enforcement by Frederick Douglass Reynolds

by THEPRAIRIESBOOKREVIEW on JANUARY 2, 2022

Vivid and persuasive… Rich in history and humanity

Reynolds, whose career as a cop and detective in Compton, CA—a.k.a. “Hub City” for 32 years is marked by numerous commendations and awards, recounts stories of his own life and career and his fellow officers while delving into the candid history of the city of Compton’s gang violence, crack epidemic, and legacy of government corruption in this defiant memoir that probes, racism, police brutality, integrity, resilience, and redemption. Born into a poverty-ridden family to an alcoholic father and a sharp-tongued mother in rural Virginia, Reynolds faced relentless bullying at school because of his gifted IQ, which enabled him to skip grades and start high school at the age of twelve. Trying to escape the chaos of his home life, Reynolds becomes friends with a neighborhood kid who introduced him to the gang life of Compton. Soon, Reynolds and his friends were neck-deep in theft, robberies, and vandalism. Arrests, jail, juvenile time followed. By that time, Reynold’s mother’s corporal punishment, which included beatings with belts, extension cords, and broomsticks stopped working on him. But everything changed after Reynolds decided to join Infantry at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, California. Though he was denied re-enlistment later because of his disciplinary record, he had a wife to take care of and knew he must find a stable job. He found work at Greyhound as a janitor and a second job as a security guard at a security company and eventually went on to work with the city of Compton as a security guard. But that was just the beginning for this remarkable man’s journey to becoming a renowned cop and detective in Compton, California. An honest, hard-working officer, Reynolds continuously dealt with gang wars, senseless brutal murders, drugs, and human trafficking in a city ridden with crime and bloodshed, sometimes encountering deeply rooted racial prejudice and overcoming tremendous obstacles. Readers will revel in Reynolds’s no-holds-barred recount of the history of the city of Compton’s gang violence, drugs, and bureaucratic corruption as well as his insights about police brutality, racism, the daily pressures, and the demonization of cops that started as a reaction to the abuses committed during the war on drugs. Anyone curious about the truthful and unembellished perspective of a police officer or what it means to be a Black cop in this era of political correctness and Black Lives Matter will be captivated by this candid work. Simply outstanding.

Thomas Riddell.net

Reynolds covers just about every aspect of crime from the streets to dirty cops. This is a "ride-along" like no other. It's a must-read!"  

Born into a family of poor sharecroppers from rural Virginia, Fred Reynolds's life was destined to be difficult from the very beginning. Seeking a better life and more gainful employment, his parents packed up and moved to the upper mid-west, eventually ending up in Detroit, Michigan. This is where Reynolds would now have to fit in and just as many black youths did from the 1960s-it involved being immersed in crime; a culture riddled with prostitution, robberies, drugs, and shootouts. Reynolds found himself behind bars on several occasions but with a determination to eventually break from his bad habits, he sought honorable work and it all began with enrollment into the military. After his service to our country, he needed to support a growing family and applied to be a police officer. It was an unlikely career path for someone with a criminal past like he had but he pursued it and soon he was a member of the Compton, California Police Department-serving in one of the most dangerous cities in America in the 1980s. It was a traumatic and highly demanding job, stressing his family and personal life, but Reynolds rose up through the ranks and eventually became a detective. He went on to win commendations and awards and ended his career as being a success as both a law enforcement officer and a caring human being.

In today's society being a cop is an occupation overwhelmed with stress and danger, but it is rare that a police officer would share his experiences with us, especially going deep into the stories that define their career, which Fred Reynolds courageously does in this book. He covers just about every aspect of crime, from the streets to dirty cops and political corruption. He doesn't hold back. This is a ride-along like no other. It's a must-read!

I give Black, White, and Gray All Over 5 out of 5 stars.

News
01/03/2022
Black, White, and Gray All Over; A Black's Man's Odyssey in Life and Law Enforce

Introducing Black, White, and Gray All Over, the New Must-Read Book by Frederick Douglass Reynolds of Trial and Triumph and a unique look into the reality of racism in America by Frederick Douglass Reynolds

(Los Angeles, CA) – One of the biggest social issues facing our society today is the relationship between law enforcement and the citizens they commit to protect and serve. There seems to be a greater divide in believing all police officers are inherently evil. Society continues to face these problems in connection with racism, sexism, gender identity, and political differences. Frederick Douglass Reynolds, a former police officer with over 30 years of experience working in Compton, California, and surrounding areas, is shifting the narrative to provide an insider’s look into a Black man’s life through trial, triumph, and life on the force.

Black, White, and Gray All Over; A Black Man’s Odyssey in Life and Law Enforcement is far more than just “cop stories”; it is a looking glass into life in ways that had not been thought of before. Growing up in Detroit in the 1960s and 70s, Frederick set out on a path of destruction, living on the streets, dealing with drugs and gangs, and even ending up in jail. He beautifully walks the reader through the early years of his life, and what led him to join law enforcement in the notorious area of Compton.

As a Black man who found himself on both sides of the law, Frederick offers a truly unique perspective to offer transparency to readers, showing the intricacies of how society works in different ways for different situations. In his time as a police officer, Frederick saw everything; truly horrendous stories showing the worst part of humanity, as well as redeeming stories that show the resilience of the human spirit.

Regardless of mistakes in his life, Frederick is the perfect example to show how anyone can turn their life around and do some good if they are willing to make that change. No matter what someone’s gender, race, or political views are, any reader will be able to take these life experiences and learn the reality of racism in America through Frederick’s lens.

“Skin color is not a shield to be used to commit crimes. It is wrong when Whites commit them, just like it is wrong when Blacks do, At a time in our country when everything is considered racist, crying racism has become a ‘get out of jail free’ card. Evil is evil, regardless of skin color. There has got to be law and order across the board. Just because racism still exists, it does not mean that every time a Black person gets shot or arrested, it is because of racism. If everything is racist, then nothing is.” – Frederick Douglass Reynolds, Author of Black, White, and Gray All Over: A Black Man’s Odyssey in Life and Law Enforcement.  

Through proof of concept, dedication to the craft, and unwavering commitment to inspiring and educating generations to come, Frederick Douglass Reynolds’ purpose-driven vision has come to fruition with the release of Black, White, and Gray All Over: A Black Man’s Odyssey in Life and Law Enforcement, now available on Amazon.    

To learn more about Frederick Douglass Reynolds and Black, White, and Gray All Over: A Black Man’s Odyssey in Life and Law Enforcement please visit: https://authorfrederickreynolds.com

About Frederick Douglass Reynolds

Frederick Douglass Reynolds is a father, author, and retired law enforcement officer with over three decades of hands-on experience as a Black cop working in the ruthless streets of Compton. In his new book, Black, White, and Gray All Over; A Black Man’s Odyssey in Life and Law Enforcement dives into stories of family dysfunction, racial division and strife, police corruption and brutality, and ultimately, the redemption of someone who struggled with it all.

Website: https://authorfrederickreynolds.com

For more information or press inquiries, please contact Frederick Douglass Reynolds at fdreynol38@gmail.com

 

 

Formats
Ebook Details
  • 08/2018
  • B09JF9VB4Z
  • 477 pages
  • $6.99
Paperback Book Details
  • 08/2021
  • 9781638485216
  • 396 pages
  • $16.99

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