Inspirational in intent, with a bootstrap philosophy, these fourteen simplistic stories of black Americans like Chicago Cub star Ernie Banks, civil rights activist Rev. James Jackson; soul king James Brown, Mayor Richard Hatcher, and Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm stress the qualities of determination and drive that can help deprived youths seize their opportunities to break away from ghetto despair to success and stature. Wesley South, a political editor and Chicago radio personality, interviewed the subjects, and Phillip Drotning, a former newspaperman and a writer on black themes, helped put it all together. Much of the material is still in first-person form, each individual talking about his impoverished past, his uphill struggle, and his present concerns, with straightforward narrative comment to round out his story. Some of the subjects are in sympathy with black militants, others question their methods or their ends, but the thrust of the collection is not radical, as evidenced by the inclusion of ""Frederic Davison: Making It in the Military"" and ""M. Earl Grant: Black Capitalist."" Essentially the message is that, despite the pressing problems of poverty and racism, the American dream need not be just a dream.