Life and Times of Ron Brown: A Memoir by His Daughterby Tracey L. Brown
In The Life and Times of Ron Brown, his daughter, Tracey L. Brown, shares a touching account of the person and the politician, and a candid look at one of this century's most compelling figures. From his earliest days growing up in Harlem's Hotel Theresa, the legendary mecca for dignitaries and celebrities like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Fidel Castro, and Joe Louis,… See more details below
In The Life and Times of Ron Brown, his daughter, Tracey L. Brown, shares a touching account of the person and the politician, and a candid look at one of this century's most compelling figures. From his earliest days growing up in Harlem's Hotel Theresa, the legendary mecca for dignitaries and celebrities like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Fidel Castro, and Joe Louis, Ron Brown displayed a precocious intellect and an ability to make friends readily. Educated at Vermont's Middlebury College, he became the first black member of the school's Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, one of the several "firsts" in his life. The Life and Times of Ron Brown reveals his accomplishments - as the first black officer to serve in his army unit, the first black leader of a national political party, and the first black commerce secretary - and sensitively examines what it meant for Ron Brown to be a minority achiever in a predominantly white world.
- HarperCollins Publishers
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- 1 ED
- Product dimensions:
- 6.50(w) x 9.57(h) x 1.18(d)
Read an Excerpt
I laugh every time I remember my twenty-seventh birthday. It was November 8, 1994, and I was in a courtroom, about to make my opening statement as prosecutor on an assault and battery case. The presiding judge had just ordered the jury to be seated when the bailiff whispered to me that I had a telephone call. Hoping the call was not a cancellation by an important witness, I walked over and picked up the phone on the bailiffs desk. In my most professional voice, I said, "This is Tracey Brown." Then I heard Dad, in that baby-talk voice he sometimes used with me: "Twenty-six years ago today, I was in the waiting room at Brookdale Hospital in Brooklyn, New York, when Dr. Josephine En-glish comes in grinning from ear to ear. Of course, we had a female obstetrician, since Mom and I have always been feminists."
I interrupted. "Hurry up, Daddy, the jury is in the box."
But he continued at his normal pace, retelling the story of my birth as he did on my birthday every year: "Dr. English says, 'It's a girl!' and I say, 'It's a girl!' I'm so happy and I run in to see you. Wrapped in a tiny blanket in Mom's arms is this pale baby. You were so white that you were translucent, so I say to Mom, 'That's not my baby. She's too white."
The judge was staring at me. "Miss Brown?" he queried, reminding me that the court was waiting.
"If I can have a moment, Your Honor," I responded. Then into the receiver, I whispered, "Daddy, the judge is getting mad."
But Dad was in the midst of our annual birthday ritual and refused to be hurried: "Then I picked you up and looked at your beautiful face and your little mouth and your almond eyes and I knew you were my baby girl. Happy birthday,baby. I love you so much."
"I love you too, Daddy," I whispered, "but I have to go."
"Are you gonna kick some booty in court?"
"Yes, Daddy, but I really have to go."
"Say, 'I'm gonna kick butt."
"No, Dad. Have a great day. Gotta go."
"Say it," he teased.
"I'm gonna kick butt," I whispered, trying not to laugh.
"Say it louder."
"Dad, I don't want you to have to fly out here and bail my butt out of jail for being held in contempt of court."
"Okay, okay. Good luck with your trial. Happy birthday, Boli." Boli, short for Tracinda Bolinda, his nickname for me.
"Bye, Daddy. I'll call you all tonight. I love you.
"I love you more." We hung up. Then, warmed by his love, with a smile on my face, I turned to the jury. "Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. My name is Tracey Brown and I represent the people of the state of California."
and post it to your social network
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews >