Debut author Braddock grew up in a tough neighborhood on Chicago's South Side, during the turbulent and challenging civil rights years. The African-American author starkly relates his encounters with racism in Chicago and in the South. Parents and grandparents instilled in him strong family values and gave him the strength, love, and will to persevere. Having but now knowing what a mentor was at an early age provided the foundation for the path he was to follow. The Stump prepared him for his life-long journey. It shaped him to see a brighter future, realize he had a future. It all started at the Stump - my way out.