Thursday, July 30, 2020

Yohancé Salimu: The Real Enemy Was Always Poverty

The buzz is good for Y.A. Salimu's upcoming memoir, "Underprivileged Overachiever A Crenshaw Story." described as the inspiring saga of a boy who grew up amidst poverty, gang warfare and drugs in South Los Angeles. With nerve and resilience, he broke through and realized his dreams, graduating from the U.S. Air Force Academy, with a degree in Geospatial Science and becoming an Air Force pilot.  
At age 14, I ran away, but not from home -- because I never had one to begin with. At school I participated in every sport, club, and after-school activity, so that when the other kids finally left, I could settle in for the night by my locker. I spent my childhood dealing with gangs, drugs, violence, and my mother's mental illness, but the real enemy was always poverty.
Eric Sondheimer of the Los Angeles Times writes: "This story is shocking for its honesty. It might need a warning label before parents allow their teenagers to read. But it's a compelling read and one that provides insights into today's daily struggles for families seeking a path to a better life."

I was curious what that might mean -- as horrifying as gangs and violence are, they usually don't elicit this kind of warning -- then a friend who has already read the book wrote to say:
"Underprivileged Overachiever" has one surprise chapter. This handsome hunk picks up a pretty girl and they go back to her place. They have sex -- and she is really a gay male cross dresser who rapes him. It’s a humbling moment in his life ... he’s very forthcoming about it and the episode is related without homophobia.
Pre-order your copy HERE.

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