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Remembering the Power of Words recounts the personal and professional journey of Avel Gordly, the first African American woman elected to the Oregon State Senate.

The book is a brave and honest telling of Gordly’s life. She shares the challenges and struggles she faced growing up Black in Portland in the 1950s and 1960s, as well as her determination to attend college, the dedication to activism that took her from Portland to Africa, and her eventual decision to run for a seat in the state legislature.

That words have power is a constant undercurrent in Gordly’s account and a truth she learned early in life. “Growing up, finding my own voice,” she writes, “was tied up with denying my voice or having it forcefully rejected and in all of that the memory of my father is very strong. To this day—and I am today a very experienced public speaker—preparation to speak takes a great deal of energy.” That this memoir has its origins as an oral history is fitting since Gordly has used her voice, out loud, to teach and inspire others for many years.

“If you ever wondered how a principl­ed woman lives a public life, read Remembering the Power of Words! Here Avel Gordly reveals the challenges, victories, and fears of her life of public service—in the Oregon legislature and senate, especially. Writing as a black female pioneer, she combines the personal with the political in a fascinating way that speaks to all of us.”—Nell Irvin Painter, Edwards Professor of American History, Emerita, Princeton University and author of The History of White People and Sojourner Truth, A Life, A Symbol

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Frontmatter
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. 8-9
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  1. Foreword by Charlotte Rutherford
  2. pp. 10-14
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  1. Acknowledgements
  2. pp. 15-18
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  1. Chapter One: Before We Become Dust
  2. pp. 19-21
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  1. Chapter Two: Our Day Will Come
  2. pp. 22-29
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  1. Chapter Three: "It is Better to Be Loved than Feared"
  2. pp. 30-48
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  1. Chapter Four: Them Changes
  2. pp. 49-58
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  1. Chapter Five: Operation Crossroads Africa
  2. pp. 59-66
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  1. Chapter Six: The Correcting Influence
  2. pp. 67-79
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  1. Chapter Seven: "She Who Learns, Teaches"
  2. pp. 80-93
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  1. Chapter Eight: Forward Together, Backward Never
  2. pp. 94-104
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  1. Chapter Nine: A Heart for Africa
  2. pp. 105-116
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  1. Chapter Ten: Hope and Hard Work
  2. pp. 117-132
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  1. Chapter Eleven: Growing and Stretching
  2. pp. 133-160
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  1. Post Script: "Don't Forget Our People"
  2. pp. 161-165
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  1. Afterword: A Note on Collaboration and Method
  2. pp. 166-170
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 171-172
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 173-176
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Additional Information

ISBN
9780870716140
Related ISBN
9780870716041
MARC Record
OCLC
794698940
Pages
184
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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