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There is still today much discussion about whether some drugs that the government deems as dangerous should be decriminalized. The U. S. Government imposes fines and imprisonment for the possession and use of marijuana, while the most harmful drug, alcohol and its known dangers, remains legal and extremely abused. The U. S. Government views itself as the worlds protectors, yet it imprisons many of its citizens for exercising the right to choose their own lifestyle. If it is a lifestyle that does not bring harm to others, why should the government interfere? This book, A casualty of war, the war on drugs, the war within, is a about a black soldier whose life and the lives of his family, were changed forever because of such injust and inhumane laws. William Francis was introduced to drugs during his first tour in Germany. For much of his military life he used marijuana to cope with racism and other forms of discrimination. The book details the external problems he faced in the military and civilian life and the internal war raging within him because of his religious beliefs. It tells how his wife views his use of marijuana; in that it poses a risk to the family's welfare and his military career if his use is discovered. She and others know that he is more than functional under the influence of marijuana. Determine for yourself whether or not what finally happened to William is justified. And then, if you can without bias and self-righteousness, determine for yourself if the laws are protecting people or unjustly depriving them of their right to real freedom.
From war-torn Sierra Leone to the US, to dancing for the Dutch National Ballet, this is a heartwrenching, life-affirming true story of a young girl orphaned by war and saved by ballet.
Growing up in war-torn Sierra Leone, Michaela DePrince witnesses atrocities that no child ever should. Her father is killed by rebels and her mother dies of famine. Sent to an orphanage, Michaela is mistreated and she sees the brutal murder of her favourite teachers.
But there is hope: the Harmattan wind blows a magazine through the orphanage gates. Michaela picks it up and sees a beautiful image of a young woman dancing. One day, she thinks, I want to be this happy.
And then Michaela and her best friend are adopted by an American couple and Michaela can take the dance lessons she's dreamed of since finding her picture.
Life in the States isn't without difficulties. Unfortunately, tragedy can find its way to Michaela in America, too, and her past can feel like it's haunting her. The world of ballet is a racist one, and Michaela has to fight for a place amongst the ballet elite, hearing the words "America's not ready for a black girl ballerina".
Today, Michaela is an international ballet star, dancing for The Dutch National Ballet at the age of 19.
A heart-breaking, inspiring autobiography by a teenager who shows us that, beyond everything, there is always hope for a better future.
About the Author
Michaela DePrince was born in 1995 in Sierra Leone. After the deaths of her parents, she moved to an orphanage from which she was adopted and taken to the US in 1999.
Elaine DePrince, her new mother, noticed Michaela's obsession with ballet and allowed her to begin lessons. Michaela went on to study on a scholarship at the Rock School for Dance Education and The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at The American Ballet Theatre, and is now a professional ballerina, who danced principal with The Dance Theatre of Harlem, in guest principal roles in South Africa and The Netherlands, and is now just starting with The Dutch National Ballet.
Michaela featured in the documentary First Position. Speaking out about her experiences, she is recognised throughout the world as an inspirational woman: she featured in Huffington Post's Most Amazing Young People of the Year and Newsweek's 125 Women of Impact. She has spoken at the United Nations for children affected by war and the Women in the World conference.
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