PHOTOS COURTESY OF ELVIN DOWLING
West Palm Beach, Fla. – Yes it’s true: Elvin Dowling, 45, who now resides in Miramar, has come a long way since his humble beginnings in West Palm Beach’s inner city. He’s often surrounded by the best of the best, in terms of corporate America, leading politicians, world leaders, and even the rich and famous.
But as a successful black male in America, he still felt the struggle that black men face in this country: to be valued, respected, acknowledged, and seen as a human being worthy of honor.
“I got tired of feeling I didn’t exist,” said the noted author, public speaker, and entrepreneur who’s worked on Capitol Hill and as chief of staff for the National Urban League where he worked with over 500 executives from corporations and organizations around the globe.
“Oftentimes I still feel invisible,” he said, appearing exasperated at the mere subject matter. ‘If I feel this way, what must the brother on the streets feel?”
With that in mind, he decided to dig deep into the plight of the Black Male in this country, investigating, probing, questioning and examining the lives of black men from the top tiers of life to the bottom rungs of society. He put before them pertinent issues, garnering their thoughts, struggles, hopes, dreams, aspirations, roadblocks, viewpoints and all.
But most of all, he let them tell their own stories. The result was a riveting tale of the Black Male experience in America, which became his most recent book, “Still Invisible?: Examining America’s Black Male Crisis.”
ENDORSEMENTS, AND #1
Dowling knew he had done his due diligence in preparing the work, conducting surveys from various demographics, and seeking opinions from not only men, but even women of all races. He talked to workers of former presidents, including President Barack Obama as well as a staffer o presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. A White House correspondent from Black Entertainment Television (BET) shares his perspective, as well as singer Beyonce Knowles’ father Matthew Knowles, who wrote an astounding endorsement featured on the book’s back cover.
Dowling’s longtime mentor and friend, United States Congressman Alcee Hastings, wrote the foreword, which is compelling. National Urban League President and CEO Marc Morial wrote a gleaming endorsement featured in the book.
But Dowling last week learned the astonishing news that he is in the history books: His book was announced as the #1 new release worldwide on Amazon in the civil rights category. It’s an amazing feat that Dowling says brought him to his knees. The gravity of his work has ﬁnally sunk in.
“Honestly it was completely overwhelming,” he said. “It was when I actually held the book in my hand, that I realized I actually did this.”
Hastings, in his foreword, said he’s been a longtime admirer of Dowling and it was a no-brainer to support this works. It was in 1994, after completing his ﬁrst term in Congress, that he received a letter from Dowling, seeking an internship. Hastings says he was familiar with the young man after the Palm Beach Post wrote an article regarding Dowling’s community service.
“Giving him an opportunity to serve alongside me was an easy decision,” Hastings wrote. “It was one (decision) that would result in a longstanding mentoring relationship for a quartercentury. In fact, since that time, Elvin has stood with me and those in the struggle for civil rights and social justice ﬁghting for the voiceless and the least of these.”
Another admirer of Dowling’s works over the years is BET White House cor- respondent, Andre Showell. “I have a tremendous amount of respect for Elvin and I have a special place in my heart for the Black Male,” said Showell.
Dowling says he couldn’t do a book on the subject without examining the life, legacy and struggles of the ﬁrst African-American president of the United States, which some interpreted as a breakthrough moment for black men everywhere.
The chapter on President Barack Obama is intriguing, but Dowling is sobering in his assessment.
“Even when you’re the president of the United States, and you’re black, it doesn’t matter. You’re still rendered invisible.”
The fact that the book was the #1 new release on Amazon in the civil rights category is a testament to his complete and comprehensive work on the subject and the fact that the Black Male is a subject of curiosity around the world.
To purchase “Still Invisible?: Examining America’s Black Male Crisis,” visit Amazon or Barnes & Noble online. For speaking engagements on the topic or book call 917-567-5626.