Joseph Dear describes his experiences growing up the Chicago, Illinois and his education at Northern Illinois University. He received his bachelor's degree in Psychology and doctoral degree in Education from the university. He describes his childhood in Chicago in some detail, focusing on his family's difficult circumstances. He describes the black community at the university and in DeKalb County in the early 1970s, noting the close ties that he built with other students and the instances in which he experienced racial prejudice and discrimination. He emphasizes the great value that his education provided him by enabling him to help other people through his profession and achieve a economic security.