Commencement is the story of a young African-American college graduate named Allen Sharpe who has a hard time finding a job. Allen has done everything right according to the established norms of American society: he worked hard in school, got into a prestigious University, completed internships, and made connections. However, Allen did not foresee how a combination of institutionalized discriminatory practices and a downturn in the U.S. economy could hinder his ability to realize the “American Dream”.
As an educator in the New York City public schools for nearly a decade, Lawrence Cherry has had a front seat to the trials and tribulations of young African-American males, from all walks of life, trying to make it in spite of handicaps and disadvantages. It is the author’s desire to provide a multifaceted view of African-American males and their issues.
“I wrote this book because there are segments of the African-American community that are completely ignored”, says Cherry. “There are a lot of hardworking African-Americans, and males in particular, in the ghetto and elsewhere, who are struggling against the odds. These people don’t get any press or any encouragement. They work hard, but are systematically cheated out of the payoff. I think even people from other communities and cultures can relate to that, especially during these turbulent economic times.
And what is the solution? Cherry offers the idea of a return to the spiritual roots of the African-American community. “I don’t think it’s just coincidental that most of our political organizations and movements sprang from the church. The church and our faith in God have always been a source of strength for African-Americans and we need to get back to that. It’s what bonds us to each other and connects us to peoples from other cultures.”
Commencement is the first book in what the author hopes to be a series of books about, life, love and faith and how to live a good life in an increasingly immoral society. For additional information regarding Commencement, contact Shawn James by email at sjsdirectny@
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SJS DIRECT is a publishing company that seeks to provide publications that present a positive image of African-Americans and the African-American experience.