Joseph F. West grew up amid a hopelessness that defined his childhood: the obstacles of poverty and violence, low expectations, and limited dreams. What was it that drove him, as a child, toward achievement, that urged him beyond depression to develop into a man certain of his potential and recognizing a future of success and accomplishment? In his stirring and poetic memoir, Trod the Stony Road: A Young Man's Journey from the Mississippi to the Charles, West shares his inspiring journey from small-town poverty to the Harvard School of Public Health. Along the way, he lost hope and found it, faced academic failure and success, and felt alone and then supported by a group of highly respected and accomplished Black scholars and business leaders. This is about accomplishment born of self-respect, daring to dream of a future, using music as a healing tool, and believing that persistence and faith can make those dreams come true.