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This collection of 27 alphabetically arranged interviews focuses on the power of determination in confronting and overcoming discrimination. With birth dates ranging from 1907 to 1957, these ordinary people provide a cumulative picture of the changing decades. (Most of the interviews took place in 2005, although several are from the late '90s, and one dates to 1980). Among them are a bank president, baseball player, welfare rights organizer, tap dancer, engineer and blues musician. Most of the subjects are not well known (with the exception of painter Jacob Lawrence and former governor, now mayor Douglas Wilder), since Govenar is interested in untold stories. Unfortunately, few of them break out of the author's rigid format, which focuses on the impact of discrimination and segregation in their lives, lending sameness to each conversation. Still, there are some fresh moments: an entrepreneur's bout with sickle cell anemia offers a graphic portrait of that illness; a mathematician's early life as a nun and an actor's picture of Hollywood in the '30s provide fascinating glimpses of those milieus. By the end, Govenar's voices offer an eye-opening corrective for familiar stereotypes of African-Americans. (Jan. 9)Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.