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Son of a man born enslaved in 1863 during the Civil War, Daniel Smith was living proof that slavery is not distant history. His father, 70 years old when Dan was born, taught him to work hard and carry himself well, even in difficult circumstances. In his educational, professional, and social pursuits, Dan lived those lessons. He was both witness to and participant in nearly a century of struggle for Black Americans to advance in a nation founded on separatist principles. For the intersections he had with historical events, political leaders, and other luminaries, he is often called the "Black Forrest Gump." In this memoir, completed just before he died on Oct. 19, 2022 at age 90, Smith offers a first-hand account of the actions, policies, and people that have helped or hindered the United States from fulfilling the promise that "all men are created equal."