An inspiring autobiography by one of America's emerging African-American leaders. This is the inspiring story of J. C. Watts' journey from poverty to college football acclaim to the United States Congress. For the first time in print, Watts shares his hopes and plans for the future of America. Included is an account of his confrontation with the Rev. Jesse Jackson on race and victimization. He tells how he prepared his televised response to President Clinton's State-of-the-Union address even as the world awaited the verdict of the O. J. Simpson trial. Watts forthrightly explains how his deep abiding personal relationship with Jesus Christ directs his role as a leader in America.
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J.C. Watts is the first black Congressman since Reconstruction to represent Oklahoma. A dynamic preacher, ex-professional football star, and father of five, Congressman Watts burst onto the national scene with his keynote speech at the 1996 Republican convention.
Chriss Winston was the first woman to serve as chief White House speechwriter. A Washington communications veteran of both the Reagan and first Bush administrations, she is now a freelance writer. Ms. Winston lives in Pomfret, Maryland.
Watts' life story is well known; he went from small-town Oklahoma to the U.S. Congress as the first black Republican since Reconstruction. And he was the first black quarterback at his newly integrated high school and the first black quarterback to lead the Oklahoma Sooners to the Orange Bowl. Remove the Oklahoma small town, and Watt's background isn't so different from other blacks growing up in poverty and striving for success. What is different is his mantle of political conservatism that has kept him at a distance from typically left-leaning black leadership. The distance is unjustified, according to Watts, given his strong black family and religious values. He snipes at black leaders who criticize views that conflict with their political orthodoxy, but he also acknowledges Republican flirtation with principles at the expense of human realities. Notwithstanding his partisan slant, Watts' personal recognition that race matters substantially moderates his position on affirmative action, in sharp contrast with his party. Watts' established presence in Congress on the Republican side of the aisle appropriately challenges the intolerance of the Republicans and black leadership as well. Vernon Ford
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