Laughing in the Dark: From Colored Girl to Woman of Color - A Journey from Prison to Power

Overview

An award-winning Washington Post reporter explores the twisted path she traveled to find her place as a confident black female in a world that values whiteness and maleness. Here is a rich and insightful story of a life lived on the edge by a woman formerly preoccupied with pleasing everyone but herself.

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Overview

An award-winning Washington Post reporter explores the twisted path she traveled to find her place as a confident black female in a world that values whiteness and maleness. Here is a rich and insightful story of a life lived on the edge by a woman formerly preoccupied with pleasing everyone but herself.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this arresting memoir, Gaines describes her metamorphosis from a drug addicted ex-con into an award-winning reporter for the Washington Post. The daughter of a black marine, she spent her 1950s childhood on a series of military bases where, she reports, her self-esteem was severely damaged by racism. Gaines observes that her feelings of worthlessness-heightened by her father's inability to show her affection-led her into relationships with abusive men. A mother at 19, Gaines used hard drugs with her first husband; by 21, she was serving time for possession. Gaines candidly details two more unsuccessful marriages and relationships with men who beat and raped her. With the help of psychotherapy, she learned to stop her self-destructive behavior and work towards personal and professional fulfillment. Author tour. (Sept.)
Library Journal
Looking back over the poor choices she made regarding men, family relationships, and her own behavior, Gaines reveals how she triumphantly overcame drug addiction and imprisonment to become a respected Washington Post reporter.
School Library Journal
YA-Gaines's autobiography reveals a life filled with despair, peril, and finally hope. She was the oldest of six siblings in a financially stable African American family in the 1950s. Her father was a career Marine and her mother was the mainstay of the home. Gaines was not happy and blamed institutionalized racism and the emotional coldness of her father for much that went wrong in her life. She was raped twice, became a shoplifter and drug addict, had a baby out of wedlock, got pregnant again and had an abortion, was married and divorced twice, and went to prison. Today, after a long and painful look into herself and the people with whom she associated, Gaines is now a successful writer of poetry and fiction as well as a celebrated journalist for The Washington Post. This is an insightful story full of pain, anger, and emotional and mental growth. The author pulls no punches in her straightforward and frank writing style, detailing her sex life and drug addiction. Yet her stated purpose in telling her story is to give hope to other women who feel the utter despondency she once did. She succeeds admirably.-Pat Royal, Crossland High School, Camp Springs, MD
Alice Joyce
This exhilarating memoir by a journalist with the "Washington Post" picks up where an award-winning article she wrote left off and continues the process of baring secrets from her past. Now in her early forties, Gaines is both courageous and frank as she reveals the course of a life that careened from protected childhood to the sudden impact of everyday racism. A series of fractured relationships, abuse and sexual assault by men in her life, and drugs and imprisonment were obstacles endured by a woman who was destined to overcome society's barriers, progressing on a personal journey toward self-esteem. Gaines' eventual arrival at a place of stability and love makes this potent and stirring account of growing up black and female in America ultimately encouraging.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780517594759
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/1/1994
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.24 (h) x 1.15 (d)

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