Cover image for You gotta believe! : education + hard work - drugs=the American dream
You gotta believe! : education + hard work - drugs=the American dream
Brown, Drew T.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : W. Morrow, [1991]

Physical Description:
288 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Personal Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E185.97.B865 A3 1991 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
E185.97.B865 A3 1991 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
E185.97.B865 A3 1991 Adult Non-Fiction Black History Non-Circ

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Reviews 3

Booklist Review

The media attention alone garnered by this relatively unknown author (including appearances on "The NBC Nightly News," "The Today Show," and Connie Chung's "Summer Showcase" interview program) will draw numerous readers to this straight-talking, fast-paced autobiography, much of it written in ghetto slang. But therein lies its appeal, for Brown's aim is to inspire kids from the projects to dream big and make successful lives for themselves, and his writing speaks directly to them. The author posits himself as a role model--as he does in dozens of yearly speaking engagements at high schools nationwide--a black youth who beat the odds despite a troubled past. The son of famed boxer Muhammad Ali's black trainer and of a white Jew from Brighton Beach, Brown suffered more than most youths in trying to establish his own identity. You Gotta Believe! tells how he escaped the projects and became the U.S. Navy's first black attack pilot. While Brown's story is neither unusual nor particularly deserving (its boasting tone is, in fact, annoying), many younger readers will identify with it and will be motivated by the advice. ~--Mary Banas

Publisher's Weekly Review

The author, whose black father was Muhammed Ali's trainer and whose mother was a white Jewish woman, straddled two worlds in his troubled childhood in New York City. Raised partly in Harlem and partly in Brighton Beach by loving maternal grandparents, Brown observed his parents' estrangement, furthered by their addictions to drugs and alcohol. In this poignant account of his youth and personal success, (after being commissioned in the U.S. Navy, he became its only black attack-pilot), Brown speaks directly to the youth of the disadvantaged, urban subculture. Now a pilot for Federal Express, he has established The American Dream, a foundation ``to combat the use of illegal drugs and to confront the education issues that currently threaten our nation.'' Brown gives upbeat testimony to his belief that ``blacks can be anything in this country.'' (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

This heartfelt autobiography will appeal, in particular, to public library patrons who have seen Brown on one of his television interviews. Brown, a black Jew (black Marine sergeant father, white Jewish mother), grew up in the New York City area, moving between his mother, his Jewish grandparents, or other relatives. He endured an emotionally deprived life, exposed to (and involved with) drugs and violence throughout his formative years. However, his parents, among others, strengthened in Brown a nascent sense of self worth. Now a commercial pilot, he spends considerable time with young people imparting the message that education plus hard work can make possible life's ``highs'' from stimuli far healthier than drugs.-- Suzanne W. Wood, SUNY Coll. of Technology, Alfred (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.