Book Review - Black Man Under The Deep Blue Sea by Tony Wells
Black Man Under The Deep Blue Sea by Tony Wells is probably best classified as a journal of Wells' experiences as a commercial diver. What makes the story unusual is that there are very, very few blacks in this particular line of work. In here, you read about his childhood and adolescence, along with the move to Hawaii that first brought him face-to-face with the possibility of learning to dive. After becoming SCUBA-certified (despite not initially being able to pass the swimming test), he enrolled in a commercial diving school to learn how to work underwater. This certification eventually led him all over the world as an independent diver, hooking on with companies when they had diving jobs available. As a black diver, he shares how his color rarely came into play when it came to getting jobs. Basically, success talks and reputations are quickly gained (or lost) in the industry. Because he knew his job well and performed at a high standard, he had little trouble in finding work when there were open jobs. At the end of the book, he talks about how color and race should never be a barrier to going after your dreams. Of course, he can hold himself out as a prime example of that.
As a self-published title, you shouldn't expect that Black Man will be a slick, highly polished story. Tony tells his story as if he was sitting across from you, complete with humor, danger, pain, and anger. But actually, that's what makes the book most compelling. Unless you're a diver interested in the technical details of the job (and he provides those in great measure), you probably wouldn't be inclined to pick up the book and give it a read. But shortly after starting to read, you'll feel as if you're sitting across the table from a new friend, sharing a beer and being regaled with stories and experiences that are fascinating.
If you have the chance to read Black Man Under The Deep Blue Sea, it'd be worth your time. At the very least, it'll give you a greater appreciation for those who work underwater to keep the oil flowing through the pipelines and into your lives.