Black, White, and Gray All Over: A Black Man’s Odyssey in Life and Law Enforcement
Frederick Douglass Reynolds
MindStir Media (2021)
Reviewed by Kathy Stickles for Reader Views (02/2022)
“Black, White, and Gray All Over,” is a story about the life of Frederick Douglass Reynolds. Going from a confused child to a teenager whose life could have gone in the wrong direction to a man whose past led him to a career in law enforcement in one of the roughest places there is, Compton, California. It is a compelling and attention-grabbing story that is very relevant in the world today and I was completely riveted and impressed.
Mr. Reynolds has not hidden away or tried to sugar-coat any part of his life in the telling of his story. It is honest, brutal, and very complex but very interesting and told very well. From his sad and dangerous childhood to his very successful and commendation-filled career, the author tells us a traumatic story about his life and work. This story made him the man he is today, but not without many problems and regrets on his part. His life choice and career took quite a toll on his family and personal life and yet, he believed in what he was doing, and kept going while trying to make the town around him a better place. It is easy to see things through his eyes and begin to understand that, while there are always “good” cops and “bad” cops no matter where you are, most of the cops in the country fall between those lines and are out there risking their lives just to keep people safe and keep the violence at bay, if possible.
On a technical level, so to speak, this story is truly excellent. It is well-written, very well-edited, and the descriptions are highly accurate and honest, without being overdone. The author is able to tell his story and bring across the tension that was a part of his daily life on the streets as well as the sadness of losing those close to him whether they were friends or colleagues and the intense daily fear of losing his own life to his chosen duty.
No matter what one believes personally, I would highly recommend this story and the insight it gives into the seriously troubled society that we are currently living in. Mr. Reynolds, thank you for sharing your story with all of us. Your contributions to Compton and society are ones that need to be known and understood by all of us, regardless of where we live or what we believe.