My Life’s Journey

Donal H. Godfrey


Donal H. Godfrey is a veteran of the US military. He spent four years as a navy submariner radioman and seventeen years as a coast guard radioman. He retired with the rank of chief communications warrant officer. Godfrey received his bachelor’s degree from Regents College University of New York and his master’s degree from the University of Maryland, University College. He has also been certified as an information systems security professional since 2000.

Godfrey went on to work as an information systems security consultant for Management Technologies, Alpha Tech, and Corbett Technologies / British Systems Assoc. Godfrey then joined the State Department Foreign Service and worked in Oslo, Norway; Accra, Ghana; Conakry, Guinea; Monrovia, Liberia and Abuja, Nigeria.

Godfrey now lives in Ghana. He is married with eight children. In his spare time, he enjoys studying ancient African history and lecturing at local colleges.

One of the things Donal H. Godfrey stresses the most in this powerful new memoir is that he truly loves America. He desperately wanted to believe that it was the land of the free and the home of the brave, but often his home country ended up breaking his heart over and over again. Now, Godfrey discusses the state of affairs that led to his emigration from the United States and the peace and comfort he found in his adopted home of Ghana.

One of the defining moments in Godfrey’s life came in February of 1964 in Jacksonville, Florida. It was here that the Ku Klux Klan bombed his family home in retaliation for Godfrey’s enrollment in an all-white elementary school. Several members of the KKK were arrested and tried for the crime. They were all acquitted.

Godfrey’s memoir serves as a stirring condemnation of American racism. He traces the KKK’s origins to their surprising connection with those in the highest office of the United States. Godfrey shows the deep scars hatred has left on the American landscape and argues that the only way he could fully escape America’s shameful history was to leave the country behind entirely.


The Author, Mr. Godfrey writes an inspirational biography about the plight of African Americans by thoroughly documenting the unusual hardships and difficulties imposed upon them. What’s unique and special about this book is the author gives chapter and verse of what it takes to succeed in the USA no matter the odds. It is a must read for anyone – be they rich or poor – black or white – or simply feeling down and out. Mr. Godfrey’s “Leaving Freedom to Find Peace” is lifeline for anyone who has lost their way in life and provides a beacon of hope that shines brightly in the dark upon a long-lost path we all must follow in order to find our way back home again.

P.S.: This book makes a perfect holiday gift or a great read for the traveler. Best of all – Best of all it has a happy ending

Jane R.

Wow! I read this book and had every emotion imaginable. Tears streamed down my face, I gasped, said Wow, smiled, laughed, remembered when and cheered Donal on. This man faced adversity and not only survived it but has thrived. He’s gone through and overcome a lot. I recommend reading this book. It will touch your very soul.


Informative. Concise. Entertaining. Fascinating. Poignant. And powerful. I think many if not most who suffer under the system of racism/white supremacy will identify with at least some of Godfrey’s struggles and his remedy. As some say, “He had to get up outta here.” A+ outing from an amiable and knowable man.

Heru Sa

The book was well thought and easy reading. Everyone should read the book

Anthony M

I wanted to read Mr Godfrey’s story because of sharing the same home town. Surviving the the KKK bombing was only the tip of the iceberg. What a fascinating life! I loved going on the journey with Mr Godfrey. Submarines, Ghosts, Love, Travel, anything and everything is included in his story. What an inspiration he is. Thank you, Mr Godfrey, for sharing your story with the world!!


A very well written book with great structure and vivid descriptions. It takes you on a rollercoaster of emotions and journeys with a satisfying ending that showed us how the author Donal H. Godfrey overcame obstacles and conquered life changing challenges. He lets us know how the things you go through in life carve you into the person you are. This book is filled with compassion and powerful emotions, making us empathize as well as sympathize on another level with the author. I recommend everyone to read this book.


Leaving freedom to find peace by Donal Godfrey is an emotionally stirring memoir that opens our eyes to the terror the author had to face and what he had to leave behind just because of the color of his skin. Having been only 6 years old when his house was bombed by the KKK. In surviving that horrible event, author Donal Godfrey’s life would be forever changed. Godfrey tells us his personal story of his ability to overcome poverty, dealing with racism to the point where it is life or death, living through the civil rights movement to his inspirational journey of achieving success in the Navy and finding love.

Godfrey’s writing is honest and gritty but also truly inspiring and takes the reader on an emotional journey. I commend the author for sharing his story with the world. I agree with the author when he states the US government owes African Americans something other than monetary compensation. There are several ways the government can give back to the African American community such as free education in order to get better paying jobs. Even grants or programs that will allow those who are living in poverty the opportunity to go to college, get a job, and to stop the vicious cycle of living in poverty. This emotional and controversial memoir is one that should be read by everyone so we are educated on the reality that racism is still among us.

Sol Tyler

Leaving Freedom to Find Peace: My Life’s Journey by Donal H. Godfrey is a powerful memoir filled with historical events of what the author endured while growing up during the civil rights movement. Author Godfrey touches upon the subject of racism and hate crimes which is a topic that tends to be brushed under the rug. This is the story of Godfrey’s journey from Jacksonville, Florida to West Africa.

Written from Donal’s perspective, the author is raw and gritty and does not hold back from telling his journey. As I was reading this book, I felt a wave of emotions from anger to sympathy to anger again to appreciation, that’s how powerful Donal Godrey’s writing is. The author’s retelling of his experiences with people and in certain places is very descriptive so much so that you feel you are there with him. It is depressing that the author had to up and move his entire life to Ghana when the US was his home. The author does share happier moments with the reader such as the time he met and married his wife and the time he joined the military. Leaving Freedom to Find Peace is an inspiring, touching and genuine story of just how resilient people can be and with determination we can find our own happiness. I highly recommend this book!


“Leaving Freedom to Find Peace: My life’s journey” is a heart-breaking and riveting book written by Donal H. Godfrey. It’s his autobiography in which he shares with us not only his love but also his disillusionment for America. He writes about some of the harshest moments of his life and tells us how he overcame them. It teaches the audience an important lesson about discrimination and how it has affected the lives of those around us.

It is extremely hard to forget traumatizing events, but to put them on paper for the world to read is much more difficult. Donal Godfrey’s writing style is straightforward which makes it easy to follow the events. When I was reading, I felt pity for the atrocities that Mr. Godfrey has gone through during his life. What I liked most about the story was that Donal could move on despite all his sufferings. For some Americans, it’s not easy to be part of a minority group that has always been tormented. Racism was one of the main issues back in those times and still is today. I highly recommend reading this amazing book. It inspires hope, strength and resiliency to everyone.


I really enjoyed the memoir “Leaving Freedom to Find Peace” by the talented author Donal H. Godfrey. The book is a quick read in which I learned things I never knew about Racism in America. It fascinated and educated me in a way I was able to enjoy and feel engaged by. I have to say that the violence of the Ku Klux Klan stunned me completely and I understood the writer’s desire to quickly leave The United States of America.

The author speaks his truth and reveals things that many are too afraid to say. I tried to put myself in his shoes and I would have felt anguished and anxious if I had to leave my country. It is not easy to emigrate, to leave everything behind. However, he adapted to a new situation and found comfort in a different place, trying to forget the horrors he experienced in America. My only disappointment is that this is the only book Godfrey has published. I hope there will be many more since I adore the way he writes, it really fulfilled my expectations.

I definitely recommend this book for everyone to be able to educate themselves better on the topic of racism in America.


“Leaving Freedom to Find Peace” is an inspiring and emotionally stirring book written by Donal H. Godfrey. It never ceases to amaze me how resilient human beings can be. How we can turn terrible, heart-breaking events into growth and the strength to seek for a better life. This story is based on Donal Godfrey’s own life journey as a black man in the United States. He discusses his struggles to succeed in a very hostile and discriminatory environment, and we learn about the terrible and difficult circumstances that pushed him to leave. This is when he found tranquillity and a better quality of life in Ghana.

I really like this book because it made me think of how much time has passed since the first fights for equality and how little was achieved in terms of rights for people of color. The author describes racism and how it is deeply ingrained in American society and government. Donal tells us how he discovered this reality, and what he did about it. This is a very engaging and well written work that invites reflection, I highly recommend it.

Celeste S


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