The Eye of An Eagle
Author: Stan Allotey
Reviewed by Fran Lewis
How would you define success? Is it how much money you have and are able to spend? Is it the number and make of the most expensive cars that you could possibly own? Do you define success in knowing that you could buy designer clothing and spend money as if there was no tomorrow and debt is a word that you never considered? The road to true success is hard. In order to appreciate it you might have to bear many disappointments, overcome huge hurdles and deal with many setbacks before achieving your primary goal.
Stan Allotey in The Eye of An Eagle, a very inspiriting and thought provoking novel, brings to light many issues that people faced in the past and are still facing today.
Nii Ankara, an African student barely escapes with this life as he is caught in the middle of a Ghanaian Coup that erupts when the military decided to overthrow the government of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, in 1966 leaving Ghana in total chaos without the proper leadership and more. Before leaving he made a promise to the man who risked it all for him, his friend Osei that he would come back and help the bring freedom to the people of Ghana.
Winding up in California and meeting some amazing young men, Nii learns t not only the value of hard work and getting an education but the true meaning of friendship and loyalty. But, he learns many other lessons as well. Throughout this novel the author reminds the reader of the rich heritage and contributions of many Black People, the civil rights movement, the deaths and assassinations of many of our leaders and much more. Through the eyes of Nii, the reader learns about the many court decisions, movements in history and hardships that African Americans had to endure in the past and what they still need to have their voices made more powerful and heard in the future.
Nii’s way of life and culture is much different than ours. Becoming assimilated in the ways of the people in his new community, he learns the true meaning of hardship, defeat and prejudice. Stan Allotey reminds the reader of the many invaluable contributions to science, technology, medicine and education made by Black Americans. Nii embraces his newfound knowledge and learns about Rosa Parks who stood up for the right to sit where she wanted in a public bus. The deaths of Dr. King and Robert Kennedy made a strong impact on him. Our author reminds everyone of how far we have come and reminds us that we are not there yet. With countries around the world that have insurgents going against the rights of the people in their country, when civil unrest is still a thing of the present in many places, we need to be reminded of how lucky were are here in America and how we still need to help those who have do not have the same freedoms were have been afforded.
As Nii becomes more immersed in our culture and life, through his eyes the author takes us and Nii back in time to learn about the heritage of his people in order to help him understand where he came from and hopefully provide him with the tools and knowledge to understand where he needs to go to fulfill his promise to his friend.
Nii, is a bright young man with a great future ahead of him. Wanting to fit in and wanting companionship, he falls prey to the wiles of a young woman named Barbara Jackson. His marriage to her would be the beginning of his downfall and the end of his career and his life, as he knew which lands him on Skid Row the lowest a place a man of his intelligence and stature should never have wound up. But, on Skid Row he learns valuable lessons and the means to survive in a world in which he feels alienated and alone.
What does causes him to rise up and develop a new perspective on life? What causes him to return to school, handle the courses, deal with the costs and become independent, you will have to read for yourself in order to understand the determination of this young man.
Throughout the novel the author explains the major differences of the two groups of people within the Ghanaian community. But, these two groups are not any different than those in most communities where one group feels their net worth or their social status is based on their material things or material wealth. The other group called the Progressives, never wastes their money on high-end items and expensive material things. Theyiput their energies into their businesses and their education. You decide which one would define your goals and your status. You decide which type of life would bring you success and then read what does happen to many of Nii’s friends and to Nii as a result of the greed of others and the lack of understanding as to what is really important in life.
When Nii does return to Compton College and receives his degree, he finally attains a position of status. From that point on the road would not be easy but he would never take that same downward spiral again. Focusing on his tasks, remembering what he learned from each of his failures and the reasons that cost him many of his jobs, he developed a keen sense and strong instincts that would help him survive in a world where it is not so much what you know, but who!
The many changes in his community, in his college and in his life will help you to understand why this young man would not give up until he would fulfill the dream of Dr.Kwame Nkrumah the first President of Ghana and help the people of Ghana get their independence and create the United States of African. This was Dr. Nkrumah’s goal. This goal has yet to be realized.
Well-written, informative, drawn from many parts of the author’s life, Stan Allotey takes the reader on a journey that has many more chapters and many unsolved answers. But, one question does stand out and remains unanswered until today: When will people learn that everyone in the world should be afforded the same rights, liberties, education and privileges, jobs in every arena in life and more? Putting a lot of himself into this book Olympic Gold Medalist Stan Allotey gets the another Gold Medal for writing this inspiring true to life novel.
Keeping a promise to a friend is more precious and sacred than all of the money, power and wealth in the world. Nii vowed to help bring change to his people and go back to Ghana to set them free. How would he do this? What major changes in his life does he make? Where does he get help and whose help does he enlist? Is he successful or does he have more hurdles to overcome? Read this novel and see if Nii is true to his word.
One man’s journey, one man’s vision, one man who truly has the Eye of An Eagle to see things clearly. This novel will renew your faith in loyalty, friendship, hope, determination and more. Never give up on yourself: Nii Didn’t. Let the voices of these people be heard and hopefully the dream for freedom and independence will be a reality for all countries throughout the world.
I am honored to have been asked to review this novel and I hope the author will grant me the privilege of reviewing more of his work.
Fran Lewis: Reviewer
Author of Memories are Precious and the Bertha Series of Books