Lori Ann LaRocco’s Book Honored by Literary Titan Book Award for Excellence, to Hold Signing Event at West Point Friday 4/12

Embracing Your Past to Empower Your Future,” by Lori Ann LaRocco and daughter Abby Wallace, has been honored with the prestigious Gold Award at the Literary Titan Book Awards. LaRocco and co-author Abby Wallace will commemorate the achievement with a book signing on Friday, April 12 at the United States Military Academy Bookstore in West Point, NY.

The Literary Titan Gold Book Award is bestowed upon books that exemplify exceptional standards in the presentation of original content, recognizing the meticulous development of unique characters or subjects presented in an authentically engaging context.

“Embracing Your Past to Empower Your Future,” released in February on Amazon and other leading bookstores, tells the story of four prominent Black families whose ancestors were enslaved, revealing how their experiences shaped and influenced each generation up to the present day. All author royalties and nonprofit donations will benefit the “Each One, Teach One” book stipend where descendants of the enslaved can apply for funds to help offset the price of college books.

“The Gold award is yet another amazing development in the journey that Abby and I have taken with this book alongside these amazing families,” said Lori Ann LaRocco. “The incredible timing of celebrating this achievement with a book signing at West Point gives Abby and I continued confidence that we are telling a story that is resonating with people.”

The West Point Book Event will be held at 11:30 AM on April 12. Readers will learn about two families featured in the book where three of their descendants attended and had critical roles at the United States Military Academy.

The Brooks Family is the only Black family in US History with three generals in the immediate family (a father and two sons- the authors worked with all three.) Brigadier General Leo Brooks, Jr. (ret.) a graduate from West Point in 1979 became the 68th Commandant in 2002. Vincent Brooks, BG Brooks’ brother graduated from the War College in 1980 and was first Black U.S. Military Academy cadet brigade commander or “First Captain“.

The Quander family, considered to be one of the oldest Black American families who can trace their heritage back to the 1600s has two family trees intertwined in slavery with one family branch connected to Mount Vernon. Major General Mark Quander was the 79th Commandant of West Point from May 2021 to June 2023 graduated from West Point in 1995.

Pollee and Rose Allen- Clotilda survivors and Africatown co-founders, The Madison Family (descendants of President James Madison) are the additional two families whose stories are researched and told.  The book is filled with never-before-seen historical documents and photos.

These families generously shared their stories, recounting the trials faced by their forebears, the values imparted through generations, and the indomitable spirit that prevailed. The book meticulously chronicles their lives, underscoring the importance of African Americans fostering unity as a means to stand together and honor their shared heritage.

Lori Ann LaRocco is senior editor of guests and global supply chain reporter for CNBC Business News, coordinating high profile interviews and special multi-million dollar on-location productions for all shows on the network. “Embracing Your Past” is her sixth published book, which details the dark history of global trade- slavery.

LaRocco’s new nonprofit, Embracing Your Past to Empower Your Future, INC. is behind the “Each One Teach One” book stipend, which is named after the African proverb that dates back to the days of slavery: If an enslaved person had the opportunity and learned how to read, write, or do arithmetic, it was their responsibility to pass on that knowledge.

Praise for “Embracing Your Past to Empower Your Future”

A poignant, diverse history of four Black families.” – Kirkus Reviews

“I recommend this book to history enthusiasts, cultural and heritage enthusiasts, book clubs, discussion groups, students, and educators and rate this historical book 5 out of 5 stars for its exceptional storytelling and exploration of the resilient spirit inherent in the ancestors of African Americans.”

  • Online Book Club

“Embracing Your Past to Empower Your Future takes readers on a journey into the unvarnished truth of our American history. These four families are empowering examples of strength, resilience, and the enduring spirit of individuals who, like me, are descendants of those who survived the brutality of enslavement in this country. The history and life lessons in this book are important and immeasurable.”

  • Hill HarperNew York Times Best Selling Author, Actor, and Activist

“This book is a must-read for anyone who wants to hear stories that haven’t been told before and to learn more about the challenges, and obstacles that African Americans have had to face since being kidnapped and brought to these shores in 1619 and have still been able to participate and contribute to the very fabric of this country which is their home.” 

Buy “Embracing Your Past to Empower Your Future” today on Amazon.com and everywhere books are sold.