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Local author publishes book revealing what it’s like being black in east Idaho 

Local author publishes book revealing what it's like being black in east Idaho 

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - A local author has released his second book.

The newly released novel describes what it's like being black in east Idaho.

We have seen it on the news time and time again.

The African American community being discriminated against and treated unfairly.

Many may think well that doesn't happen here. Well, it does.

"I wanted to tell the story of what it's like to be an African American growing up in a predominantly white community and state," said local Author Dennis Patterson.

Author Dennis Patterson grew up in Idaho Falls.

He says his new book gives insight on what it's really like to be black in eastern Idaho.

"I want them to take away a better understanding of what racism discrimination and white privilege is and what it feels like if you're the one being discriminated against," said Patterson.

Although Patterson has been able to retire, previously working at the Idaho National Laboratory and being able to make a good life for himself.

He says life wasn't always easy here.

The book is about him growing up right next to the Community Church of God in Christis church on Bingham Ave in Idaho Falls as a young boy living right here on the hill.

A hill that Patterson says used to be referred to as the 'n-word hill'.

Something that may shock people.

Patterson says these are facts that people will find in his book.

"Growing up in Idaho one of the things I keep hearing is there's no discrimination here. When I asked why, they would say they've never seen it. I'm giving them a chance to see it. I'm also giving them a chance to feel it," Patterson said.

In the midst of race riots across the country, people may wonder if this is an issue happening here and now?

"Things are much better. We've made a lot of progress, but we're not where we need to be," Patterson said.

Patterson hopes his book will open people's eyes and together make this a place for true equality.

"If nothing else, I would like to change people's understanding and awareness about discrimination and white privilege. Also let them understand that they can make a difference they need to stand up they need to speak out when they see injustice each of us can make a difference."

Patterson's book is now available online. The hard copy comes out on November 11.


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Ariel Schroeder

Ariel is a reporter for Local News 8 and KIDK Eyewitness News 3.

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