Frederick Douglass Reynolds
Black, White, and Gray All Over: A Black Man's Odyssey in Life and Law Enforcement
An intimate memoir by author and retired Compton police officer, Frederick Reynolds.
Black, White, and Gray All Over: A Black Man's Odyssey in Life and Law Enforcement is an inspiring and deeply moving memoir by author and retired police officer, Frederick Reynolds. Frederick discusses his turbulent childhood growing up in Detroit, with an abusive mother and an alcoholic father; and his misspent youth and association with street gangs, which resulted him spending time in a juvenile detention centre. Frederick joined the US Marine Corp in 1980, for a fresh start and to escape his life in Detroit. In 1985, he became a police officer in the Compton Police Department, one of only five Black graduates.
Frederick discusses some of the cases he worked on during his time with the Compton Police Department, including murder, gang violence, and drug-dealing. He also discusses wider issues of political corruption, systemic racism, and how he struggled to overcome his own long-standing biases. Frederick describes the demanding nature of his work, and the emotional and physical trauma he experienced in the line of duty, including the murder of fellow police officers, and even an attempt on his own life. Frederick reflects on recent cases of police brutality, racism, and malpractice, but also highlights the work of hard-working police officers who risk their lives every day to make a difference within their communities. Frederick retired in 2017 with over seventy-five commendations.
This is a powerful and emotional memoir by Frederick Reynolds, highlighting his struggle for survival as a Black man growing up in the US, and as a Black police officer on the streets of Compton. Frederick’s writing is raw, gritty, and authentic. He masterfully captures the tension of policing in one of the most dangerous cities in the US in an age of political correctness and Black Lives Matter. The book provides a fascinating insight into the history and politics of Compton, and shows how deeply rooted racism is in all parts of our society.
An essential read for anyone interested in Black culture and history, policing and law enforcement, or racial inequality.
Star rating: 5 Stars
Summary: A powerful and emotional memoir, highlighting one man’s struggle for survival as a Black police officer on the streets of Compton.