Fire in My Soul by Joan Lester

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Here is the remarkable story of U.S. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton -- impassioned civil rights activist, hard-driving legislator, and one of the most powerful women in American history.
They call her the "Warrior on the Hill," acknowledging the battles she's waged as a political pioneer across more than four decades of American history. Perhaps more than anyone else, she has taken to heart Eleanor Roosevelt's famous pronouncement that "every political woman needs to develop skin as tough as rhinoceros hide."
Joan Steinau Lester shared much of the last forty years with Eleanor Holmes Norton. They met in 1958 when they were both students at Antioch College. Now an acclaimed author, Lester shares her friendship with the congresswoman and tells the story of one woman's rise to leadership. Charting forty years of political and personal challenge, Fire in My Soul shows Norton marching on the Capitol to demand a Senate hearing for Anita Hill; grilling Army generals about sex abuse; arguing before the Supreme Court to uphold first amendment rights, even for a segregationist; and much more. Norton's story is organically linked to Washington, D.C., home to her family for four generations, and reveals why she is now the voice of the city.
This fascinating biography, told largely in Norton's words, showcases as never before the many facets of a woman who remains an iconic torch-bearer for the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement. Scores of conversations with Norton and nearly a hundred interviews with colleagues, family, and friends have made Fire in My Soul a remarkable document of how one extraordinary woman helped to effect lasting change in the ways we interact across racial and gender lines.

About Joan Lester

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Joan Steinau Lester, Ed.D., is the author of three previous books, the most recent a civil rights biography (FIRE IN MY SOUL) of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton. The former Executive Director of the Equity Institute, a national diversity consulting firm, she is a frequent NPR commentator and print columnist. Lester is currently a Bellwether Prize finalist for an adult fiction manuscript; BLACK, WHITE, OTHER is her debut novel for young adults.
Published February 5, 2003 by Atria Books. 384 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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a black man insisting in every way you could find upon your dignity.” She details her years at Antioch and Yale and with SNCC, her radicalism and grassroots participatory philosophy, then her distancing from the Black Power movement, for “once Black Power became black racism, hey, they left me too.

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