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.
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.