Other than Minority Affairs Representative and Facilitator of Race Relations, my most prestigious title is Chief Navy Counselor, U.S. Navy Retired. However, my most precious titles are Dad and Granddad. Writing a book "Guidance Against the Odds" was motivated, in part, by the latter through life experiences as a man, encapsulated by being black — a resume of over 65 years of working with people of diverse cultures, i.e., Starting as a child, carrying groceries, a stock boy, a snowball stand, and a newspaper route. As an adult, twenty-two years of world travel in the military, a bus, truck, cab driver, and over 30 years in Retail Management.
Although born during the period known euphemistically as Jim Crow, I was shielded from the existence of hate through the Grace of God by two loving parents. However, the '1950s' was the decade of transitioning. from the passive, imaginative stage of adolescents into a cesspool of hate.
The '60s', after "Bloody Sunday," and through the love of reading, I came upon the untold horrors inflicted for hundreds of years by the proactive minefields through the ideology of supremacy, a dominance reinforced by brutality and brainwashing. "Brainwashed" Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority, by Tom Burrell February 1, 2010.
In the '70s', to survive, I learned to navigate those impetuous minefields, the institutional standards, built with glass ceilings. Ceilings that turned a blind eye while glaring down upon the blatant injustices that systematically marinated upon a people.
By the '80s', there was still this reluctant acceptance, the realization that racism was progressive and a cancer to America's soul. Like an unwanted tattoo— even if removed, the scare would be everlasting. Reality became embedded. My blackness was a license for the propensity for evil to bestowed upon me.
In the '90s' my fears were exacerbated by Rodney King's images and swirling nightsticks. The act of driving, the epitome of being black, and even then, the sincerity in his words from all the publicity. 'Can't we all just get along?'
2020 has passed, and the minefields are more active than ever. Indicative of January 6th, 2021. My encouragement has become more ubiquitous from jogging/driving while Black, 'Obama gate, an insurrection, and now voter restriction laws. Refusing to be subverted, as I vow to keep writing. Book My Story is my public diary toward someday, somehow, making a difference.
Henry L Faulkner USN Ret.
Chief Navy Counselor