Cover image for Diesel heart : an autobiography
Title:
Diesel heart : an autobiography
ISBN:
9781681341255
Physical Description:
267 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm.
Summary:
The doctors gathered around, passing the stethoscope from hand to hand, taking turns listening to my chest. Finally, the lead doctor said, "Now, that's what I call a heartbeat!" I snapped, "Whaddaya mean?" "It's like hearing a diesel engine inside a Mustang body," he said. Melvin Whitfield Carter Jr., the father of St. Paul's current mayor, is a true son of Rondo, the city's storied African American neighborhood. He was born in a city divided along racial lines and rich in cultural misunderstanding. Growing up in the 1950s and '60s, he witnessed the destruction of his neighborhood by the I-94 freeway?and he found his way to fighting and trouble. But Carter turned his life around. As a young man, he enlisted in the US Navy. He used his fighting ability to survive racist treatment, winning boxing matches and respect. And as an affirmative action hire in the St. Paul Police Department, facing prejudice at every turn, this hardworking, talented, and highly principled officer fought to protect the people of the city he calls home.
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Summary

Summary

The doctors gathered around, passing the stethoscope from hand to hand, taking turns listening to my chest. Finally, the lead doctor said, "Now, that's what I call a heartbeat!"
I snapped, "Whaddaya mean?"
"It's like hearing a diesel engine inside a Mustang body," he said.
Melvin Whitfield Carter Jr., the father of St. Paul's current mayor, is a true son of Rondo, the city's storied African American neighborhood. He was born in a city divided along racial lines and rich in cultural misunderstanding. Growing up in the 1950s and '60s, he witnessed the destruction of his neighborhood by the I-94 freeway--and he found his way to fighting and trouble.
But Carter turned his life around. As a young man, he enlisted in the US Navy. He used his fighting ability to survive racist treatment, winning boxing matches and respect. And as an affirmative action hire in the St. Paul Police Department, facing prejudice at every turn, this hardworking, talented, and highly principled officer fought to protect the people of the city he calls home.
Diesel Heart is the story of a leader who created a powerful family legacy by standing up for what is right, even in the face of adversity.


Author Notes

Melvin Whitfield Carter Jr., the father of St. Paul's mayor, is a true son of Rondo, the city's storied African American neighborhood. This autobiography-full of humor and surprising vulnerability-demonstrates the power of hard work and principled resistance.


Excerpts

Excerpts

Sometimes the least significant thing can be most pivotal. Me 'n' my rookie were dispatched to a domestic in progress, on the top floor of a low income apartment building. Three teenage Black males were standing in the hallway, unrelated to the call, as we made our way up the stairway. My rookie stopped to identify them as I continued upward.So now I'm in a situation where I'm handling a violent domestic alone when my rookie calls out a foot pursuit. I stop everything. He's chasing the kids on foot while I'm racing around the neighborhood in the squad car trying to find him. In the process of backing up as I change directions, I backed hard into a foot post, causing damage to the squad car.. As it turned out, one of the Black youth had a misdemeanor warrant for some petty crime. We get through the incident, no big thing, until Sgt. Prima Donna calls me into the ol' "Mel, come in and shut the door" routine. "Now, Mel, I'm gonna be honest with ya'. The guys complain that you treat Negroes better than you treat whites. I mean, you are good to everyone, but you've been here over six years and still have not quite proven yourself like . . ." He named a list of other Black police officers I was supposed to be like. I had no intention of ever being anything like them. The ones he named were particularly brutal to Black people only. The last thing Blacks needed was more iron feet of oppression. I wanted Black people to know it was a new day. Excerpted from Diesel Heart: An Autobiography by Melvin Carter Jr. All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.


Table of Contents

Part 1
1 Who I Came Fromp. 3
2 The Family Up Northp. 8
3 Deep Rondop. 16
4 Learnin' Lessonsp. 29
5 Growin' Painsp. 36
6 Free at Lastp. 47
7 Long Hot Summerp. 54
8 Turnin' Pointsp. 61
Part 2
9 Maiden Voyagep. 75
10 The Passagep. 84
11 Boiler Roomp. 96
12 Bouk in Piecesp. 107
13 Internal Combustionp. 126
14 Thump Callp. 140
15 Trial and Errorp. 150
Part 3
16 In the Valley of the Shadowp. 165
17 Head to the Skyp. 169
18 The Police Academyp. 174
19 Probationary Bluesp. 179
20 Two New Worldsp. 185
21 Policing While Blackp. 191
22 Routine Workplace Hostilityp. 198
23 Rice Street Paradep. 205
24 Swatp. 214
25 One Good Man and Then the Battlep. 224
26 Who Woulda Thought It?p. 229
27 Promotedp. 233
28 Save Our Sonsp. 243
Acknowledgmentsp. 265