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Vernon E Jordan Jr. "Vernon can read"

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The civil rights leader, attorney, and former head of the National Urban League recounts his boyhood in segregated Atlanta, his career, and the social changes he helped to bring about.

Like New Hardback

  • Weight
    1 lbs
  • SKU
    1 891620-69

While on summer break in 1955 from DePauw University, Jordan worked as a chauffeur for Robert Maddox, the racist president of the First National Bank of Atlanta. Maddox was dumbfounded to discover that Jordan could do more than drive that "Vernon can read." Jordan, most recently an informal adviser to President Clinton, presents an engaging memoir of his arduous yet successful struggle to claim the African American dream. The most entertaining chapters discuss a childhood molded by church, school, and family, especially his mother and "greatest friend," Mary Jordan. The chapters on his rising civil rights career, which include being a young attorney for the NAACP during the University of Georgia desegregation, serving as head of the United Negro College Fund, and following the legendary Whitney Young as chief executive of the National Urban League, are sprinkled with insights. These include the low priority given to African American concerns by Presidents Carter and Reagan and the observation that Northern whites are often more secretive and less trustworthy about their racial views than Southern whites. The power of this biography derives from Jordan's honesty and the simple elegance of his writing. Reminiscent of John Lewis's Walking with the Wind (LJ 5/15/98), this book is highly recommended for all public libraries.

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