Binding Us Together: A Civil Rights Activist Reflects on a Lifetime of Community and Public Service

Binding Us Together: A Civil Rights Activist Reflects on a Lifetime of Community and Public Service

by Alvin Brooks


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A heartfelt, inspiring narrative that is inextricably linked to the nation’s past and present, civil rights activist and public servant Alvin Brooks shares engaging, funny, and tragic stories of his life and career of advocacy.

Few have faced adversity like Alvin Brooks has. He was born into an impoverished family, he nearly lost his adoptive father to the justice system of the South, and he barely survived a health crisis in infancy. However, his greatest challenges would be learning how to navigate a racist society as a young boy and then later protecting his beloved wife, Carol, and their six children.

Despite all the adversity he faced, Brooks became a lifelong leader and a servant of his community. Brooks served as one of Kansas City’s first Black police officers in the fifties, helped to heal the racial divide after the riots following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., founded the AdHoc Group Against Crime, affecting real change in city government, and met with successive American presidents on national issues. When it comes to criminal justice, civil rights, and racial inequity, Brooks’s lifetime of building bridges across society’s divides helps us better understand our past, make sense of our present, and envision our future.

Alvin Brooks proves that a good heart, a generous spirit, and a lot of work can connect the world; one person can make a difference by binding us together.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781524867768
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Publication date: 02/23/2021
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 125,015
Product dimensions: 6.90(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

Alvin Brooks is a former Kansas City police officer, councilman, and mayor pro-tem, as well as the founder of the community organization AdHoc Group Against Crime. His decades of civil rights, violence prevention, and criminal justice advocacy led President George H. W. Bush to appoint him to the President’s National Drug Advisory Council and Governor Jay Nixon to appoint him to the Kansas City Board of Police Commissioners. Brooks has also worked as a business consultant, motivational speaker, and lecturer, conducting hundreds of seminars about cultural/racial diversity, religious tolerance, and civil rights. He recently was named the 2019 Kansas Citian of the Year by the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, and he’s a recipient of the Harry S. Truman Award for Public Service. Brooks currently lives in Kansas City among family and friends.

Table of Contents

Family Tree viii

Acknowledgments x

Foreword xi

Chapter 1 My Origins And Youth 1

Chapter 2 My Son, Ronall 74

Chapter 3 My Police Career 80

Chapter 4 Schoolwork-And The Riot 180

Chapter 5 City Hall Appointments 204

Chapter 6 Adhoc Begins And Flourishes 217

Chapter 7 Recognized By The President 233

Chapter 8 My Political Career 245

Chapter 9 Adhoc Renewed 258

Chapter 10 Carol's Transition 262

Chapter 11 A Family Adventure 267

Chapter 12 Recent Activities 275

Chapter 13 A Final Prayer 279

Photo Credits 285

Appendix: List of Awards 286

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