In her debut memoir, an African-American woman tells the story of how she became an advocate for social change.
The book begins with a moving prologue in which Lockhart tells of counseling high-risk teenage girls, setting the stage for the author’s story of discrimination, self-hatred, personal growth and self-acceptance. Lockhart was born in Eudora, Ark., and at age 5, after her parents’ divorce, she moved to Mt. Pleasant, Tenn. Her mother, Thelma, who dreamed of becoming a New York model, sent the author to Lansing, Mich., to live with her aunt and uncle, with the understanding she could return when her mother had a career and steady income. While living with the Ewings, Lockhart was sexually abused by her uncle starting at age 8; her trust faltered and she shut herself off from others. Growing up in the turbulent 1960s during the civil-rights movement, the author experienced athletic and academic success and, because she was light-skinned, prejudice from both whites and blacks. In time, her dreams of becoming an Olympic athlete were supplanted by a career in social service, although she earned money in other ways, including cleaning houses and even writing speeches for baseball superstar Hank Aaron. Her minister husband, whom she later divorced, was abusive and irresponsible; the book insightfully explores how a woman of beauty, intelligence and determination can end up in such an oppressive marriage. The narrative, although well written, occasionally lags, but celebrity references (in addition to Aaron, she was acquainted with the singer Marvin Gaye and civil-rights pioneer Rev. Ralph David Abernathy, among others) pick up the pace, as does a stirring account of Lockhart’s climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. Readers may find some points contentious; for example, during the author’s account of her career in social services, she faults the white power structure for the sad state of the “system” in Michigan, although both the administrator who hired her and her supervisor were African-American.Overall, however, the book is a redemptive tale of confronting challenges and finding the courage to forgive and move on.
Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.
Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").
Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)