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Fraternity: In 1968, a visionary priest recruited 20 black men to the College of the Holy Cross and changed their lives and the course of history. Hardcover – January 3, 2012
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Amazon Best Books of the Month, January 2012: Shortly after MLK Jr.’s assassination Reverend John Brooks, the future president of Holy Cross College, personally recruited and mentored 20 African-American students—five of whom (including Justice Clarence Thomas and author Edward P. Jones among others) are closely followed in Diane Brady’s impressively researched debut. --Jessica Schein
“Holy Cross, Black Power, and the Sixties could have been an unholy mix. A bold Jesuit priest made it a holy one. The story of Father John Brooks, Clarence Thomas, Ted Wells, and the others rings with power, pride, and human feeling. Fraternity and the saga it retells adds honor to my college.”—Chris Matthews, anchor, MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews
“Diane Brady’s book brilliantly shows how the attention and concern of one man changed not only the course of these individual lives but the course of history. This book is a template of how we should all think about both our societal responsibility and the gift of mentorship.”—Wes Moore, author of The Other Wes Moore
“An incredibly inspiring book . . . Diane Brady has captured the story not just of a group of amazing black men and their mentor but of an era. But most of all, Fraternity is about the power of hope, the power of presence in the lives of others, the power of mentorship, role modeling, and actionable belief. And this is why I see this book as the best modern-day example of the continued power of Dr. King’s Dream.”—John Hope Bryant, founder and CEO of Operation HOPE and author of Love Leadership: The New Way to Lead in a Fear-Based World
“Rife with questions about education that are as vital today as they were in the sixties, Fraternity is a reminder that success in life is often about being given the chance to succeed, and that great educators have the power to shape the course of history. This is an important story that will bring endless inspiration.”—Sampson Davis, author of The Pact: Three Young Men Make a Promise and Fulfill a Dream
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"Fraternity" gives a glimpse into the lives of about 20 or so black, male high school graduates in the late 60's. Each of them were recruited to the Catholic based College of the Holy Cross, which at the time was all white and all male. The driving force behind their recruitment was Father John Brooks, dean and Vice President at the college. Immediately after the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Father Brooks sees an opportunity to increase the presence of African American males on the campus. They all had misgivings about going to school in an environment so foreign to what they'd previously known. However, most eventually decided to give it a shot.
Going to an all white school in the 60's; the males had very trying experiences to say the least. However, Father Brooks committed himself to being a compassionate but fair support system for the men. Many of them would go on to forge a bond with Father Brooks and much success in all facets of the professional world.
Given the author is a Caucasian woman from Canada, I wondered what motivated her to tell such a story. After reading the book, I realized that like me she felt it an important story that needed to be told. The author does a good job of weaving each of the men's experiences together. Having met some of the men prior to reading the book, I felt the author did a good job capturing the essence of the men's personalities.
Many people who read this book will see themselves in few of the young men in the book. Some may be moved to push through challenging situations and times. Others will be motivated to lend a hand to someone in need. All in all I really enjoyed this book. I've never been a big reader, but I read this in less than a week.
Father Brooks should be commended for his vision of racial integration at a time when the world demanded it , nothing more, nothing less. (based upon his character as depicted in the book )
I have been an executive search consultant for over 25 years, and have seen how those executives with a unique passion to identify, attract, and develop great leaders set the foundation for amazing organizational greatness.
Against that backdrop, I was amazed to see how this visionary priest intuitively followed most of the best practices I would recommend to spot, attract, and develop great talent. I was also inspired by realizing how his effort not only transformed the lives of his recruits, but propelled them to amazing careers, lives, and social contributions.
This extraordinary story is a loud call for action for all of us, to go out of our way to find, attract, and develop future talent which is so frequently below our radar screens, but so badly needed in today's world!
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Read my entire review at highlightsforteachers.com/blog