By Michael Cunningham, Connie Briscoe

Photographer Michael Cunningham (coauthor of Crowns) and writer Connie Briscoe, a brand new York occasions bestselling novelist, profile 50 girls over the age of fifty who've been remarkably successful--whether in attaining the head of the corporate ladder, discovering status in politics or the humanities, or raising a son to be pleased with a unmarried mother--and reveal the ways in which they've got prevailed regardless of daunting obstacles. Their tales are paired with Cunningham's intimate portraits of the women.

JEWELS contains recognized and little-known women alike, from academics and managers to artists, authors, and entertainers. one of the celebrities profiled within the ebook are Ruby Dee, Eleanor Holmes Norton, S. Epatha Merkerson, and Marion Wright Edelman. Coauthor Connie Briscoe also appears right here as one of many featured Jewels, telling her inspiring own tale. World-renowned poet, writer, commentator, activist, and educator Nikki Giovanni contributes an unique poem to the book.

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My boyfriend is a smart man and that i love him and every thing. We’ve been jointly for ten years and that i recognize he has my again. That’s adequate for now. For me, marriage isn't the finish of every thing, and I’ve continuously targeted extra on different issues. I regularly desired to be in a relationship—and often have been—but no longer inevitably married. I simply couldn’t see being with one individual for the remainder of my lifestyles. probably that’s simply because I didn’t meet the suitable individual on the correct time. whilst I had the chance to get married, he wasn’t the proper guy. while it was once the proper guy, it wasn’t a great time, which means that I wasn’t prepared. in the meantime, I’m having fun with some great benefits of no longer being married. I don’t need to compromise approximately what i would like to do or while i would like to do it. I don’t need to register with somebody whereas my neighbors have been pondering getting married and having teenagers, i assumed approximately being self sustaining and having a occupation. DS while I had the chance to get married, he wasn’t the proper guy. whilst it used to be the perfect guy, it wasn’t a great time, which means that I wasn’t prepared, KS to work out how they’re feeling approximately no matter what it's that I’m doing. and that i don’t need to discuss with somebody approximately how the money is spent. It’s as much as me and my funds. ladies nowadays can aid themselves. We don’t have to depend upon a guy. The turn part of that's that after i am getting previous, i'll be previous and on my own. additionally, I don’t have an individual who has my again without end, anyone who’s there for me it doesn't matter what. It’s great to have that. even supposing now that i feel approximately it, a few married humans don’t have that both. i feel black ladies have a tougher time assembly males simply because we restrict our offerings. there are lots of strong males in the market, yet we'd like a qualified black guy, so we disregard policemen or firemen or no matter what. I additionally imagine it’s more durable to discover black males in a massive urban like big apple, simply because we’re extra unfolded. manhattan is especially polarized in sure facets. you could cross right into a eating place in Midtown and be the single black individual there. In smaller towns like Atlanta and Washington, you notice plenty of black humans strolling down the road. yet in big apple everyone seems to be unfolded. My one remorse is that I didn’t have little ones. I don’t imagine you would like a husband to have youngsters, and that i remorse no longer doing whatever approximately that once i'll have. yet worry stopped me, worry of giving in to the stereotype of getting a baby and never being married. in retrospect now, I see how silly that used to be. I nonetheless take into consideration adopting. even supposing at this age i'd most likely need to undertake undefined, i believe i've got lots to supply a child—knowledge, adventure, adulthood. Nikki Giovanni ♦ sixty three POET, author, ACTIVIST, EDUCATOR i began writing simply because i used to be made up our minds to be heard. I grew up within the age of segregation, while black humans and girls didn't have a voice, so discovering my voice and my position on this planet was once very important. i feel each person desires to be heard. You don’t keep an eye on luck. What you regulate is, “I am now not afraid to fail. ” i made a decision early on that i needed to put in writing for a residing, and that intended I needed to do every little thing i may to arrive that objective.

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