The successful photographer and author records his youth, and the true story of an American Negro struggling through the obstacle course of race repressions acquires an extra dimension. Applying to his narrative the compassion, the total view, the sense of immediacy of the most affecting photographic social commentary, Mr. Parks begins his story with the shocking remembered witnessing of an execution in a gas chamber. In the fact of Ultimate human agony, as a random group of human beings are caught in a senseless nightmare, he strikes at the onset a persistent note of fear and death that somehow always dogged his footsteps. However, he had known beauty and health and love in his farm home in Kentucky and was reared by a mother who taught him dignity and faith in himself. After his mother's death he was thrown to the mercy of poverty, the poor and degraded stumblings of Outcasts, and hatreds, in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Chicago, Harlem, Washington, but he fights to stay alive, to go to school, to retain his identity. Yet even am an determined to love and believe in human dignity might find himself with a gun in his hand. This is a compelling story--powerful, imaginative, with a glowing warmth, a quiet tale perhaps more lasting in effect than Baldwin's ballistics.