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Other titles in the Counterpunch series:
Spell Albuquerque: Memoir of a "Difficult" Student (Counterpunch)by Tennesse Reed
Synopses & Reviews
“Tennessee Reed is a brand new star in the galaxy of our spirit—shining for all of our people.”—Simon Ortiz, author of Telling and Showing Her
“Reed writes with clarity, wit, and wonder—and with an open-hearted passion that disarms, refreshes, and delights.”—Al Young, author of Something About the Blues
“I’m not like them,” Tennessee Reed would tell her teachers to get them to see that the approach they used for students with “normal” brains didn’t always work for her. As it turned out, she was different in quite a few other ways as well, including the great reserves of courage she could call upon to fight an educational system that often defined her disabilities as laziness or stupidity.
The daughter of writer/choreographer Carla Blank and novelist Ishmael Reed, Tennessee was diagnosed at an early age with several language-based learning disorders. The bottom line, the experts agreed, was that she would never read or write. Within a few years, however, she published her first book of poetry. By the time she was a teenager, she was writing the text for Meredith Monk performances and traveling the world to read her poems.
Spell Albuquerque is an inspiring memoir of one woman’s struggle to overcome racism and institutional authority and to achieve what everyone said was impossible.
Tennessee Reed is the author of five books of poetry, including City Beautiful, Airborne, and Electric Chocolate. She is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, and has a master’s degree from Mills College.
Book News Annotation:
Reed was diagnosed early in life with several language-based learning disorders, and the experts agreed that she would never learn to read or write. She published her first book of poetry not long after, and has continued to succeed in a literary career. At age 31, she looks back at her life, primarily her experience in school, from kindergarten through graduate school, the prose studded throughout with poems from the period she is recalling. The emphasis on her own education, and especially as a student with disabilities, reflects her professional interest in improving public education. She won the bronze. The final chapter relates her campaign for Oakland School Board, District One. There is no index. Co-published with CounterPunch. Annotation ©2009 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
A young bi-racial woman's triumphant memoir, recounting struggles against bigotry in the school system.
About the Author
Tennessee Reed is the author of five books of poetry, including City Beautiful, Airborne and Electric Chocolate. She is a graduate of University of California at Berkeley and has a master degree from Mills College. She is the daughter of writer and choreographer Carla Blank and the novelist Ishmael Reed.
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