For many years I have felt a compelling urge to write a book about my life -- overcoming economic adversity and racial segregation while growing up in the Old South, building a career that led to prominence on national TV, and coming to grips with a compulsive gambling problem.
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Well, my book has just been released. It's entitled "You Bet Your Life: How I Survived Jim Crow Racism, Hurricane Chasing, and Gambling."
I'm sharing the most personal details of my life because I hope my story of hitting rock bottom and bouncing back will encourage and inspire others who are facing fear, failure, self-doubt or any challenge that may seem insurmountable. But I also needed to write this book in order to rid myself of guilt -- the guilt that came from living a double life, sometimes even a life of deception.
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Despite the self-destructive behavior that has been part of my life, this book is not a downer. There has been much joy in my life, lots of laughter along the way, incredibly exciting career assignments-and the intersection of these experiences is something I enjoyed writing about.
Here's an excerpt from Chapter Three, describing how my parents equipped me to deal with life's harsher realities: "One of the many remarkable things about my mom and dad is how they always made home a safe and special place. And "home" didn't just mean the house in which we lived. Whenever and wherever we were together, that was home. Even though I was aware in my childhood years that innocent black people were sometimes physically attacked-even killed-for no reason other than pure racial hatred, I never felt unsafe or frightened when we were at home."
Click here for more details about my book and my life, and a look at my author's page.