“If I can make a difference in just one life,
then I have given life my best shot.”

— E.D. Arrington

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A story of triumph in spite of life’s many obstacles, twists, bumps, and curves.

The Search For Freedom – Ma had prayed and waited and prayed a lifetime for one dream – to witness one of her own get their freedom. To Ma, the day you finished your schooling was the day you were free. With four grandchildren set to graduate like stair steps, nothing seemed to be standing in the way. But on a cloudy Saturday evening, tragedy strikes, leaving one grandson dead, one running from police, one granddaughter emotionally shattered, and Ma praying for her one last hope – Lori.

Facing The Unpredictable – Nothing could have prepared Lori for the struggles she would face on her journey to fulfill Ma’s dream – sibling rivalry, turbulent race relations, learning to accept responsibility for unwise decisions, and positive ways to tackle the plethora of life challenges by choosing first to understand differences rather than judge. But just when Lori thought the worst was over, the worst was yet to come. On a beautiful Saturday evening, three days before Ma’s dream would cease being a dream, the unbelievable happens.  (230 pages)

Reviews

This fictionalized autobiography is a paean to the support that a loving mentor can provide.

The main character, Lori, is being raised by her grandparents. Her grandmother offers guidance and stories of past racial injustices and recent improvements; all this helps Lori when she becomes one of the first African American students to attend a previously all-white high school. Lori is smart and a good student, but she is not welcome and within the first year she is expelled. The local African American community fights for her reinstatement. Although the terms of her readmission are distasteful, Lori understands the lessons Ma has taught her.

The novel focuses on Lori’s growth, but it also contains a warm, rich picture of her family and the African American community in a rural North Carolina county.

UNC-Chapel Hill - 2009


When your book, Stay The Course, arrived, I began reading it right away. I found that by simply listening to the words in my head as I read along, I could ignore unfamiliar word choices and simply savor the beautiful colloquial language. The language was quite proper for the story being told. Ma, Deddi, Lori and the rest of them were live people whose actions and language were suited to their characters. And you made them people about whom I cared. It was very obvious that you modeled them on those you knew and loved.

Thus, the reader also loves them. I finished the book with tears in my eyes. I think love makes your storytelling successful. Stay The Course, told in the first person, a masterpiece.

Eddie Duggan, Alexandria, Virginia




I am a reading enrichment teacher. My class is enjoying reading, Stay The Course. They are asking lots of questions, and they have lots of good ideas on what the characters should have done. I am only at this particular school twice weekly, but the students in Class 15 (Ms. Hendrix's class) are learning a lot about segregation. I have already told them that you have another book coming out.

Uzal Daniels, Los Angeles, California

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