From Publishers Weekly
Photographer Cunningham (Crowns
) and popular novelist Briscoe (Big Girls Don't Cry
, etc.) honor 50 women, more than half over 60, in this collection of stunning photographs and inspiring personal recollections. While a few have officially retired, none of these women can be described as retiring. "I'm having a wonderful time being exactly who I am at the age that I am," says one, reflecting the general sentiments of this diverse group, which includes a financial consultant, reading specialist, sign language interpreter, tax lawyer, real estate broker and a bookstore owner (Clara Villarosa). Some are familiar (e.g., Ruby Dee, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Nikki Giovanni, S. Epatha Merkerson), but most are not. Several are involved with powerful institutions little known outside the black community—sororities, women's clubs and service organizations. Tucked into their succinct narratives is a surprising abundance of practical advice about maneuvering between the worlds they have survived and mastered (corporate, military, entertainment, government, entrepreneurial). Some recall hard knocks, having faced deaths, depression and divorce, cancer, a child with Down syndrome and teenaged pregnancy, but all acknowledge the helping hands of parents, grandparents, teachers and mentors. This book will have special resonance for black women, but offers its inspirational message to all. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Photographer Cunningham and best-selling novelist Briscoe offer a stunning photo-essay tribute to 50 black women over the age of 50 who defied racism and sexism to realize rich lives of accomplishment and personal satisfaction. Each striking black-and-white portrait accompanies a personal essay as the women often recall the people who came before them, inspiring them to achieve and admonishing them not to allow themselves to be defeated by the limitations they faced. The women also recall many firsts: the first black woman to achieve some status in the nation to the first black woman (or person) in her family to get a college degree. The subjects include celebrities and noncelebrities in medicine, education, business, and social activism. Among the jewels are Ruby Dee, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Marian Wright Edelman, S. Epatha Merkerson, and Briscoe herself. Poet Nikki Giovanni is also here and contributed an original poem in tribute to the achievements of black women. A beautiful and inspirational book. Vanessa BushCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved