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‘Off to a Bad Start’ Debuts at Taste of Soul
By Jason Lewis (Sports Editor)
Published October 6, 2011

Author Kelvin E. Fossett

Los Angeles resident Kelvin E. Fossett will showcase his new book, “Off to a Bad Start,” at the 6th Annual Taste of Soul Festival on Saturday, October 15, on Crenshaw Boulevard.

The semi-autobiographical narrative reveals his life in the inner city during the 1960s and 70s.  A product of Gary, Indiana, Fossett experienced several close calls, near misses, and almost killed as he traversed the dangerous streets on his way to adulthood.

Yet Fossett, by no means totally innocent, survived his teenage years and became a productive member of society, thanks to his praying mother who instilled strong values in him.  Realizing his blessings, he compiled his recollections into a book aimed at illustrating success is possible despite being “Off to Bad Start.”

“My first goal in writing “Off to a Bad Start” was to attract the non-reader with a short, colorful, fast-paced, story with a message.  Second, I want to engage young African American males who believe their only option is to gang bang or be a criminal.  Thirdly, I wanted to educate people about Gary, especially those who think it’s all bad, which it is definitely not,” said Fossett.

“Gary is overwhelmingly positive and many great individuals have emerged from that city.  But, there’s no denying that the section of town I grew up in and the people I choose to hang with made my daily life quite risky, although interesting, too,” he said.

The book, which covers his junior and senior high school years, chronicles the challenges any young man raised in an urban environment may face.  Street gangs, shootings, and other forms of violence are vividly illustrated as well as the influence of several positive role models. 

“I believe readers will not only enjoy this book, but will learn valuable lessons they can share with others who feel their situation is hopeless.  I am a living witness that you can make it even if you are off to a bad start,” said Fossett. 

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