"Extensive . . . inspired . . . forty-five of the most recognizable and powerful black women in the country." —USA Today
"This book, about the tenacity of black women, reminds me of 'testimony service' in the true gospel tradition. By showing us the lives of sisters in dramatic leadership roles, Patricia Reid-Merritt gives us all courage. These women broke not only the glass ceiling, but also the brick walls of the old-boy network." —Dr. Gwendolyn Goldsby Grant psychologist and advice columnist for Essence magazine.
One by one, phenomenal African American women are breaking through the glass ceiling of race and gender bias. Setting political agendas, heading major institutions, and shaping corporate strategies, they are the newest architects of America's future. Sister Power is packed with groundbreaking insight into their amazing life journeys.
In this exploration of female African American leaders, Reid-Merritt, a community activist and professor of social work and African American studies at Richard Stockton State College in New Jersey, describes contemporary success stories of black women. Her 45 interviewees have diverse titles, including the president of the National Education Association, Mary Hartwood Futrell; Indiana attorney general Pamela Carter; Ms. magazine editor-in-chief Marcia Gillespie; and the CEO of PUSH, Willie Barrow. Their interesting and inspiring life stories reveal childhoods that, even when economically impoverished, were marked by a nurturing parent figure and supportive black community that fostered achievement and provided a spiritual foundation. The racism and sexism the women struggled against is also discussed. Although Reid-Merritt comments at length on the problems these powerful women have in their personal relationships with men, she does not include the experiences of lesbian African American leaders. Author tour. (Sept.)