The title of Nathan McCall's autobiography. It tells the story of how McCall was raised in a black neighbourhood, grew into a brutal thug, and went to prison. In prison McCall learns the most important lessons of his life: the kind of strength manhood requires, the way the system is stacked against him, that sort of thing. Upon his release on parole he goes to college and launches himself into a carreer that will see him a journalist at the Washington Post: the so-called Big Leagues of journalism.
It is an excellent story of how a man found himself. McCall takes the reader through the difficulties of being an African-American from youth to fatherhood, but it is most interesting as the story of a black man trying to make it in a nation and an industry where racism takes forms far subtler than a pack of Klansmen.
Doesn't this sound lame? Like I copied it off the blurb on the dust-jacket? That's because I can't write like Nathan McCall. Go read the damn book already.