Sunday, October 28, 2007

Condoleezza Rice - Twice As Good Her Path To Power

My partner will tell you that I am a voracious reader. Television means very little to me with the exception of business reports, politics, local government or maybe independent films. I often read a broad range of books from Alan Greenspan's "The Oracle Behind The Curtain," to "Brotherman - The Odyssey of Black Men In America Anthology" to "Bram Stoker's Complete Unabridged Dracula Novels ."

Over the past year however, I have read four books about political figures to include; Barack Obama's "The Audacity of Hope," Bill Clinton's "My Life," and Hillary Rodham Clinton's "Living History."

But none of those books were as intriguing to me as author Marcus Mabry's book "Twice As Good Condoleezza Rice And Her Path To Power." I could not put this 308 paged book down.

When I saw the book at the bookstore I was curious. I really wanted to know what ingredients went into the Condoleezza Rice pie. Who was she? I knew that she had served as Provost at Stanford University here in the Bay Area and that she loved playing piano. But why did she love the Bush dynasty so much?

Here before me was a book about the most powerful black woman in 230 years of American government, and I was debating on whether to buy it or not.
I then noticed that the book was also written by a brutha so I thought, what the hell.

Most liberals and democrats have a strong dislike for this woman, primarily because of her unwavering support of the father and son Bush team. I am not exactly sure what most black people think of Condoleezza. I do know that some blacks don't like her because she is a black republican, some don't like her because they see her as a high profile "uncle Tom" or "aunt Jemima" in the gender sense. However, some blacks are proud to see a black woman holding one of America's (and the world's) most powerful positions as Secretary of State.
The book describes Condoleezza's early days as very structured with a very protective mother and educated father who loved her very much and home schooled her (at one point) and taught her the value of education. The book also reveals how Condoleezza's parents sheltered her from Jim Crow - she never rode on the back of a bus because her parents owned a car. During the Civil Rights movement, her father kept her family out of the fight, believing that the protesting blacks were just stirring up problems for the "Good Niggas." However, no amount of parental shelter could prevent Rice from losing a childhood friend (Denise McNair) who became a victim of a church bombing by the KKK in Birmingham Alabama. Condoleezza was eight at the time.

The book also tells the story of Condoleezza as a little girl in a department store shopping with her mother and being scolded by a white store clerk for touching the brim of a hat. Condoleezza's mother, upset and offended by the incident, responded by instructing little Condoleezza to touch every hat in the store.

Among the many intense moments in this book is one during the introduction where the author outlines in detail, the controversy caused at Essence Magazine regarding placing Condoleezza Rice on the cover of the magazine in 2005. DRAMA!

The book also reveals that Condoleezza has a best friend who is gay and that she has a thing for football and football players.

Condoleezza's life story is a movie waiting to happen. I guess we will all watch on and protest, admire, or abhor her until we see what her legacy will ultimately be. It is however, starting to look and feel like one of those Bonnie & Clyde, Thelma & Louise kind of tragic love stories where love conquers all...including the will of the people.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As Condoleezza Rice is in the last lap of her term as Secretary of State, the quagmire in the Middle East merits asking if Ms. Rice ever had a clear-cut plan to further the American interests of stabilising the situation in the region surrounding the volatile Iraq? Or was all this just a part of treadmill diplomacy where you jog at one place without covering any distances at all? Has Ms. Rice been running in a rut as a regular feature of her diplomacy tourism during her periodic trips to the Middle East?

This question become even more pertinent on the heels of the third anniversary since she launched her "transformational diplomacy" on 18 January 2006 declaring:

"America needs equally bold diplomacy, a diplomacy that not only reports about the world as it is, but seeks to change the world itself. I and others have called this mission transformational diplomacy.

The above pronouncement begs another question: In seeking to change the whole world, how well did the State Department adapt itself to keep pace with the dynamics of change? In retrospective, was all those dashes to the Middle East a diplomacy tourism road show?

In view of a failure to show initiative, insight and imagination
in making any meaningful contribution to make the Middle East safer and friendlier to the US, historians may rename a recent book as "Twice As Bad - Condoleezza Rice and Her Path to Perpetual Inaction!"