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From Barnes & NobleBarnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
"It would be years before I'd realize that my travels from the inner city to places like Korea, Turkey, and the Pentagon were not the real journey. The real odyssey was the pilgrimage from…self-hating to sane, from mental ghetto to mental freedom," writes journalist Debra Dickerson in her remarkably insightful, fiercely honest memoir.
Dickerson's tale is of an extremely bright young African-American woman's journey of discovery: her struggle to find herself, and her evolving feelings about race and class. From her parents' upbringing as the impoverished children of sharecroppers in the South to her own poor childhood in a north St. Louis ghetto with five siblings, Dickerson's early life was a seesaw of happiness contrasted with abuse from her father, an ex-Marine who wielded an iron fist. Her self-loathing and doubt grew along with her constant struggle to come to terms with her heritage. Burying herself in books, Dickerson's driving ambition to succeed clashed with her depressing surroundings and her parents' attitudes. Her decision to join the Air Force at twenty-one was a major turning point, followed closely by the birth of her political conscience and the evolution of her views about blacks and their circumstances. After the Air Force, she went on to get her law degree from Harvard and soon began a career in journalism.
This strong woman's steadfast search for self, and her ability to reinvent herself, have been the building blocks of her success. An American Story is a shrewd, boldly truthful book, one woman's journey toward her own American Dream.