The Autobiography of an American Negro Woman is the story of a crusader rich in hope and friends. Ellen Tarry grew up in Birmingham, Alabama, in a warm family group that sheltered her from race tensions until adolescence. Converted to Catholicism in a convent school, of a ""passing"" complexion, she experienced knocks from every side. Following a teaching stint during which she wrote articles, she came to New York, where after a floating period she took on serious reporting, juvenile writing, work for the interracial Friendship House during the Depression. She ran the Chicago branch for a time, then with the war, as a member of the National Catholic Community Service, she ran a Negro USO in Alabama. Marriage with a soldier brought the daughter for whose children she hopes there will be only a third door -- no door with a white or colored sign to mar it. At all times a personal story, peopled with friends of note, all sorts, this points out the individual's experience in a world where color is still a drawback, even a hazard, and shows trends in race relations through a woman's lifetime. At times a little slow, but warm and substantial.