cover image Conversations: Straight Talk America's S

Conversations: Straight Talk America's S

Johnnetta Betsch Cole, Johnetta B. Cole. Doubleday Books, $17.5 (190pp) ISBN 978-0-385-42130-0

``We African American women must cure whatever ails us,'' states the president of Spelman College in Atlanta, in this anecdotal discourse--on her life, and on race, feminism and education--addressed directly, but not exclusively, to young black women. In a wise, warm and animated voice, she recalls the formation of her racial identity in a black upper-middle-class family in Jacksonville, Fla., her studies in anthropology, her interracial marriage and her growing political consciousness. Criticizing provincialism and apathy, Coles exhorts parents to teach their children to be proud of their ethnic heritage and to avoid bigotry. Arguing that education is the most effective instrument for change, she eschews any exclusionary ethnic-centered view, but calls for a ``worldcentric education'' based on social awareness and responsibility, participatory learning and respect for diversity. Author tour. (Jan.)