Huntsville, Ala. ---- An Alabama A&M University graduate who once made his mark on the gridiron as an All-Conference linebacker has penned a new book, “King Without a Crown” (KWAC), that bears his heart and soul in its attempts to grabble with such complex issues as self-identity, relationships and even purpose.
Afu Okosun was born to a Nigerian father and a Cameroonian mother on the southside of Atlanta, Ga. From the onset, his story is unlike any other. This American born African son was raised by an ambitious and professor single mother of two, enabling within him the unique ability to view life through multiple lenses.
Okosun says an early introduction to sports led to his obsession with and subsequent skill at the game of football. He landed a scholarship to AAMU and followed a dream of playing in the NFL that ultimately outpaced him. A realist above all, he quickly concluded that the NFL vision would not come to be and was forced to assess other strengths. His best friend noted Okosun’s God-given ability to give wise counsel and suggested that he gain credentials. Those words and a healthy dose of introspection helped pull out of him another, even stronger passion for counseling and helping people.
Realizing what he needed to do, Okosun immediately set into action. Months of sleeping on couches and unemployment had forced him to humble himself and to find any means necessary to get on his feet. Door-to-door sales, part time retail and server jobs, along with support from loved ones, helped him to secure an apartment. He was now postured to gain ‘credentials’ by returning to A&M for master’s degree in counseling psychology.
Although lodging was in place, he only possessed to his name a car, two couches, a laptop and a deep, burning desire to “vent,” perhaps borne of a sustained period of lows, of unemployment and of dreams deferred. Fortunately, his turn to God transformed the written process of venting into what the author calls “a personal address to the world.”
Thus, out of the most modest circumstances KWAC was born. In the book, Okosun, who refers to himself as a "generational activist," delves headfirst into the world of growing up in an African household located in an American metropolis, along with the trial and error encountered on the path to manhood.
“Once I began writing,” said Okosun, “words started flowing.”
Key among the questions posed, notes Okosun are: Where does a generation turn when it lacks direction? Who among us will press the issues that need to be addressed? When will we step up to the responsibility of being leaders and not followers? And two years later, he said, the question still remains, What's a king without a crown?
The 24-year old and Tupac Shakur enthusiast is calling “King Without a Crown” a ‘call to arms’ to his generation, especially young black men, “to aspire for more than 15 minutes of fame, but to make an impact on the world that will be felt for generations.”
A book launch party has been scheduled in Downtown Huntsville, Ala., for Wednesday, May 1, 6-10 p.m. at Amendment XXI.
For more information on the book (available via Amazon.com), visit: http://www.amazon.com/King-Without-Crown-Afu-Okosun/dp/0615803792/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1366682984&sr=8-8&keywords=king+without+a+crown