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What would you do if you woke up one morning not recognizing who you were? How would you adjust? Would you ever be the same? Charlie Johnson, an up-and-coming attorney at a prestigious law firm in Georgia, is on track to have the best year of his life. Tonight, everyone is gathered to witness him be named the youngest Junior Partner in his firm’s history. He's on top of the world; nothing can stop him. As the celebration weaves its way into the early morning hours, Charlie’s late start on the first day of his new position sends him racing on a stormy, wet highway, where moments later he's careening into circumstances he never saw coming. With the damage caused by the accident and the chaos that ensues, Charlie’s mind is pushed into a world he can’t quite make sense of. In this new and completely altered reality, Charlie awakens feeling disoriented and baffled. Why are they calling me Charles? Who are these people and why are they speaking to me like that? As he looks into the mirror to examine any damage, he is startled by the face glaring back at him. Forced to venture well outside the comfort zone that his life of privilege previously afforded him, Charles must learn to navigate a world he does not recognize. Is this really happening? Ill-equipped to traverse this new reality, Charles must rely on the people around him to fill in the back-story that seems to be missing from his memory. The world and its darker realities of social injustice, systemic racism, and a broken legal system start to reveal themselves in many painful and eye-opening episodes in both the cases he finds himself working, and in the realities of his new, yet very real, life. Five Steps Black affords the reader a unique opportunity to walk in someone else’s shoes for a moment and experience a world that was previously invisible.
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