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Nonfiction Book Award Status: Gold


Without A Compass follows a young Black man born into a situation where the odds are against him in Cincinnati’s notorious West End. After the death of his mother when at twelve-years-old he desperately struggles to escape his abusive stepfather. After undergoing many changes against a backdrop of drugs, poverty, and prison and overcoming bitter set-backs, he reaches his lifelong fantasy – to attend college. Without A Compass shows how frightening, difficult and even ostracizing earning a college degree can be for a young Black male if you live in Cincinnati’s West End or one of the hundreds of neighborhoods like it throughout the country.

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Author Bio:

Martin Terrell and his wife Jeanette live in Chapel Hill, North Carolina with their pampered dog, Charlie. Now retired, Martin worked for more than twenty years as a “professional beggar” as he likes to call himself. The former Vice President and Campaign Manager of Advancement at Stony Brook University honed his skills as a Major Gift and Executive Fundraiser at Florida State, Ohio University and the United Negro College Fund.

Martin is the co-author of the Social, Political and Economic Contexts, a graduate Public Relations textbook, and of a children’s book, Amanda Salamander Discovers the Secret of Happily Ever After. Without A Compass is his first memoir. He is currently at work on its sequel You Are Only Innocent Once.

Learn more about the Nonfiction Book Awards.

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