Jewels: 50 Phenomenal Black Women Over 50


Photographer Michael Cunningham (coauthor of Crowns)and author Connie Briscoe, a New York Times bestsellingnovelist, profile 50 women over the age of 50 who have been remarkably successful—whether in reaching the top of thecorporate ladder, finding fame in politics or the arts, orraising a son to be proud of a single mother—and revealthe ways that they have prevailed despite daunting obstacles.Their stories are paired with Cunningham's intimateportraits of the women.


See more details below
$26.85 price
(Save 10%)$29.99 List Price
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (21) from $1.99   
  • New (7) from $3.82   
  • Used (14) from $1.99   
Jewels: 50 Phenomenal Black Women Over 50

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$14.99 price


Photographer Michael Cunningham (coauthor of Crowns)and author Connie Briscoe, a New York Times bestsellingnovelist, profile 50 women over the age of 50 who have been remarkably successful—whether in reaching the top of thecorporate ladder, finding fame in politics or the arts, orraising a son to be proud of a single mother—and revealthe ways that they have prevailed despite daunting obstacles.Their stories are paired with Cunningham's intimateportraits of the women.

JEWELS includes well-known and little-known womenalike, from teachers and executives to artists, authors, andentertainers. Among the celebrities profiled in the book areRuby Dee, Eleanor Holmes Norton, S. Epatha Merkerson,and Marion Wright Edelman. Coauthor Connie Briscoe alsoappears here as one of the featured Jewels, telling herinspiring personal story. World-renowned poet, writer,commentator, activist, and educator Nikki Giovannicontributes an original poem to the book.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

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 2007 Reed Business Information
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316113045
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Publication date: 4/11/2007
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 767,471
  • Product dimensions: 8.37 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Cunningham

Michael Cunningham was the photographer for Crowns: Portraits of Black Women in Church Hats. His work has been featured in the New York Times and Ebony, among other publications. Connie Briscoe is a New York Times bestselling author of five novels: Big Girls Don't Cry, Sisters and Lovers, A Long Way from Home, P.G. County, and Can't Get Enough. Her work generally focuses on the strength of black women.

Read More Show Less
    1. Hometown:
      New York, New York
    1. Date of Birth:
      November 6, 1952
    2. Place of Birth:
      Cincinnati, Ohio
    1. Education:
      B.A., Stanford University, 1975; M.F.A., University of Iowa, 1980
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt


By Michael Cunningham Connie Briscoe

Little, Brown and Company

Copyright © 2007 Michael Cunningham and Connie Briscoe
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-316-11304-5


When Michael Cunningham and I first came up with the idea of featuring black women age fifty and older in a photo-essay book, we both knew immediately that this was long overdue. I naturally thought of my mother and grandmothers, three women who defied enormous obstacles during a time when racism and sexism were anything but subtle and carved out rich lives of service, hard work, and dedication to their families, often without recognition or reward. My mother opted out of being featured in Jewels, but she is here with me in spirit, along with many other deserving women. Reluctantly, I myself agreed to be featured in these pages when friends pointed out that I fit the profile and had a story worth telling. Perhaps in revealing a bit about myself I can soften the line that usually separates an author from her subjects.

Michael and I decided to include celebrities and noncelebrities, and thus we have women here who successfully reared children as single mothers as well as women who fought tire-lessly for justice and opportunity in our schools, communities, and theaters. These are fierce, gutsy women who bucked the odds during especially trying times, and I feel honored that they've allowed me to help them tell their stories. I was also excited about the opportunity to work with Michael, who is an amazingphotographer. We interviewed and photographed the women in Jewels over the course of nearly a year and a half, between the spring of 2005 and the summer of 2006. The age given with each profile is the age at the time of the interview.

As I began talking to the women, a few things stood out immediately. First, they give a lot of credit to their upbringing for making them who they are. Whether raised by a single mother or father, both parents, grandparents, or someone else, they found a loving, stable home with someone who taught them to aim for the stars. Second, although many incidents of racism, sexism, and discrimination are described throughout the pages of this book-some of them blatant and others more subtle-the women never viewed the incidents as insurmountable. Whether fifty or eighty, on the stage or in the boardroom, whether for themselves, their children, or for the world, these women seized opportunities when they were available and created them when they weren't. They are all thoroughly modern women who have taken the promise of America and made it a reality for themselves and others.

Could it be that we've come far enough that black women can be lawyers, doctors, businesswomen, performers, artists, and mothers first, without race, gender, or handicap intruding constantly upon our progress? Whether or not you believe that to be true, there can be little doubt these women and countless others like them have made it much more likely for our children and grandchildren. -Connie Briscoe


Excerpted from Jewels by Michael Cunningham Connie Briscoe Copyright © 2007 by Michael Cunningham and Connie Briscoe. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2008


    This is such a breath taking book of 5O African-American Women that has such a positive influence on it readers. It lifts, enlightens, and educates one to the strength to survive,to succeed. This book should be read by every woman,and man and should be passed on to our teenage daughters regardless of race or creed. Thank you Connie Briscoe for capturing the charisma of these women and Michael Cunningham for capturing their extrodinary beauty

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)