Slave to the Dream
Reviewed By: Editorial Board
The Editorial Board of The Columbia Review accepts submissions from authors, publishers, directors, agents, producers and fans.

“Slave to the Dream” by Shades Wright is a memoir of one man’s intense rebellion, roadblocks, and—ultimately—his inspiring growth, powered by the healing powers of family support and divine intervention. The book will appeal to readers who are interested in stories of overcoming chaos and desperation, achieving personal transformation, and the wisdom one gains from a life of trials and triumphs.

The book follows the troubling and inspiring story of Shades Wright, who grew up on the streets of Chicago, surrounded by drugs and criminal activity. We watch as he moves from altar boy to bully to drug dealer. When he eventually makes his way into the police force and the Air Force, he is surprised to find even more drugs and crime than he had ever encountered in his Chicago neighborhood:

“Travis AFB was my first home away from home. While at Travis I saw friends coming back from overseas addicted and shooting up heroin. Some of those friends were great athletes before they left. We played basketball together just about every day. One really good friend came back from overseas and brought three new buddies back with him. They were all junkies. I couldn’t believe my eyes. We had all smoked marijuana routinely but I never thought this could happen to this guy. […] Does everyone know there are junkies in the Air Force?”

Despite the repeated struggles he faces, Shades never fully gives up hope. Even during the tumultuous times, Shades holds on to the “American Dream,” despite often having no idea where he was headed and where his path would take him. Through hard work and determination, he eventually finds insight into life’s meaning, becomes “one of the good guys,” and achieves success and happiness:

“The people who have broken their molds will rule the world. Those that don’t will be left to jump on the bandwagon of others. … I believe the Lord God spared my life on at least six occasions that I know of. Every day I awake, it seems to be another miracle and I am surprised and thankful. I will not waste a second of any day condemning anyone until I am seen as perfect in the eyes of my God. That day will not come so I shall forever be working and asking for his forgiveness.”

In “Slave to the Dream”, Shades Wright tells his gut wrenching, heart breaking, surprising, and inspiring life story. He skillfully brings the reader into his world and presents an intense, motivating story about how dreams can come true through years of dedication, persistence, and spiritual faith. Highly recommended!