Connie Rice has taken on the bus system, the school system, the death penalty, the LAPD--and won. Read more...
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Connie Rice has taken on the bus system, the school system, the death penalty, the LAPD--and won. She has been at the forefront of dozens of major civil rights cases. In 1998, the "Los Angeles Times" designated Connie Rice one of the "most experienced, civic-minded, and thoughtful people on the subject of Los Angeles." Rice literally wrote the report that has revolutionized the city's law enforcement and outreach to gangs. Now, one of America's most prominent and successful civil rights litigators, Rice illuminates the origins and inspiration for her life's work in this extraordinary memoir.
In her electrifying voice, Rice writes of being descended from a "proud and erudite clan" of former slaves and slaveowners who prized "the aggressive pursuit of knowledge and voracious accomplishment." The Rice family's quest for excellence was the defining feature of Connie's youth, a childhood that would see her family move seventeen times across three continents, at the behest of the U.S. Air Force, for which her father was a racial-barrier-breaking major. The eldest of three children, Connie was inspired by influential women like Queen Elizabeth I, Anne Frank, and Rep. Barbara Jordan--the first black woman elected to U.S. Congress from a Southern State whose eloquence and composure during the televised Watergate hearings so mesmerized a teenage Rice that she burned a hole ironing her father's shirt.
Provocative and passionate, studded with dramatic stories of a life in the trenches of civil rights law, "Power Concedes Nothing" reveals the inspiring life of an indomitable woman who knows that power concedes nothing without a demand.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2011-11-14
- Reviewer: Staff
Rice, a civil rights lawyer (and cousin of Condoleezza) describes her strange and remarkable journey from prosecuting important civil rights cases and suing the LAPD for civil rights violations to allying with “good cops” to fight rampant violence in neighborhoods where “guns and gangs ruled, not civil rights.” She is surprisingly open and insightful about herself as well as about the workings of the virtually impregnable institutions she challenges. The most interesting part of her account, and the most visceral and difficult to read, is the inner workings of L.A. gangs: Rice describes shocking details of violence, abuse, and dysfunction. Her descriptions of the intransigence and institutional flaws of the LAPD are almost equally disheartening. There are flashes of progress to be optimistic about, and Rice’s own powerful voice when attacking the myriad problems that poverty and neglect cause for children, cities, and the nation. Readers will be appalled by the evils Rice fights, but astounded by the energy and intelligence she brings to the battle. Agent: Mary Evans. (Jan.)