Black, White, Other: In Search of Nina Armstrong

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Identity Crisis.

As a biracial teen, Nina is accustomed to a life of varied hues—mocha-colored skin, ringed brown hair streaked with red, a darker brother, a black father, a white mother. When her parents decide to divorce, the rainbow of Nina’s existence is reduced to a much starker reality. Shifting definitions and relationships are playing out all around her, and new boxes and lines seem to be getting drawn every day.

Between the fractures within her family and the racial tensions splintering her hometown, Nina feels caught in perpetual battle. Feeling stranded in the nowhere land between racial boundaries, and struggling for personal independence and identity, Nina turns to the story of her great-great-grandmother’s escape from slavery. Is there direction in the tale of her ancestor? Can Nina build her own compass when landmarks from her childhood stop guiding the way?

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About the author

Joan Steinau Lester, Ed.D., is the author of three previous books, the most recent Mama’s Child, as well as Fire in My Soul, a civil rights biography of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton. Her first YA novel, Black, White, Other, was a finalist for the Bellwether Prize. The former Executive Director of the Equity Institute, a national diversity consulting firm, she is also a frequent NPR commentator and print columnist.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Zondervan
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Published on
Sep 13, 2011
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Pages
224
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ISBN
9780310396192
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Juvenile Fiction / Religious / Christian / Social Issues
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Joan Steinau Lester
Here is the remarkable story of U.S. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton -- impassioned civil rights activist, hard-driving legislator, and one of the most powerful women in American history.
They call her the "Warrior on the Hill," acknowledging the battles she's waged as a political pioneer across more than four decades of American history. Perhaps more than anyone else, she has taken to heart Eleanor Roosevelt's famous pronouncement that "every political woman needs to develop skin as tough as rhinoceros hide."
Joan Steinau Lester shared much of the last forty years with Eleanor Holmes Norton. They met in 1958 when they were both students at Antioch College. Now an acclaimed author, Lester shares her friendship with the congresswoman and tells the story of one woman's rise to leadership. Charting forty years of political and personal challenge, Fire in My Soul shows Norton marching on the Capitol to demand a Senate hearing for Anita Hill; grilling Army generals about sex abuse; arguing before the Supreme Court to uphold first amendment rights, even for a segregationist; and much more. Norton's story is organically linked to Washington, D.C., home to her family for four generations, and reveals why she is now the voice of the city.
This fascinating biography, told largely in Norton's words, showcases as never before the many facets of a woman who remains an iconic torch-bearer for the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement. Scores of conversations with Norton and nearly a hundred interviews with colleagues, family, and friends have made Fire in My Soul a remarkable document of how one extraordinary woman helped to effect lasting change in the ways we interact across racial and gender lines.
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