Power Concedes Nothing
One Woman's Quest for Social Justice in America, from the Courtroom to the Kill Zones
By Connie Rice
(Scribner, Hardcover, 9781416575009, 368pp.)
Publication Date: January 10, 2012
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From one of the nation’s most influential civil rights attorneys—second cousin of former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice—a noble, hard-hitting memoir chronicling the life of a fiercely powerful woman dedicated to public service.
Connie Rice has taken on the bus system, the school system, the death penalty, the LAPD—and won. She has been at the forefront of dozens of major civil rights cases. In 1998, the Los Angeles Times designated Connie Rice one of the “most experienced, civic-minded, and thoughtful people on the subject of Los Angeles.” Rice literally wrote the report that has revolutionized the city’s law enforcement and outreach to gangs. Now, one of America’s most prominent and successful civil rights litigators, Rice illuminates the origins and inspiration for her life’s work in this extraordinary memoir.
In her electrifying voice, Rice writes of being descended from a “proud and erudite clan” of former slaves and slaveowners who prized “the aggressive pursuit of knowledge and voracious accomplishment.” The Rice family’s quest for excellence was the defining feature of Connie’s youth, a childhood that would see her family move seventeen times across three continents, at the behest of the U.S. Air Force, for which her father was a racial-barrier-breaking major. The eldest of three children, Connie was inspired by influential women like Queen Elizabeth I, Anne Frank, and Rep. Barbara Jordan—the first black woman elected to U.S. Congress from a Southern State whose eloquence and composure during the televised Watergate hearings so mesmerized a teenage Rice that she burned a hole ironing her father’s shirt.
Provocative and passionate, studded with dramatic stories of a life in the trenches of civil rights law, Power Concedes Nothing reveals the inspiring life of an indomitable woman who knows that power concedes nothing without a demand.
Connie Rice is renowned for her unconventional approaches to tackling problems of inequity and exclusion. Rice has received more than 50 major awards for her leadership of diverse coalitions, and her non-traditional approaches to litigating major cases involving police misconduct, employment discrimination and fair public resource allocation. She successfully co-litigated class-action, civil rights cases winning more than $1.6 billion in policy changes and remedies during her nine year tenure in the Los Angeles office of the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF). One of the founders of The Advancement Project, Rice is a graduate of Harvard College and the New York University School of Law.
"[A] remarkable journey.... Open and insightful.... Readers will be appalled by the evils Rice fights, but astounded by the energy and intelligence she brings to the battle."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)
?eoeConnie Rice is one of the few great progressive figures and voices whose love of poor people is visceral and whose commitment to justice is unstoppable. Don?e(TM)t miss this powerful story of a grand prophetic witness!?e --Cornel West, Princeton University
"A compelling story of a life dedicated to creating positive and lasting change in two of the most significant issues facing our society, civil rights and gang violence. There is nobody in America today who has brought so much positive change to these two issues than Connie.... Anyone who cares about democracy and its true potential needs to read this book. "--William J. Bratton, Former Chief-LAPD, Former Commissioner-NYPD
"Writing with conviction, Connie Rice vividly portrays her life?e(TM)s work and her unyielding commitment to our shared family values?e" the power of education, a dedication to improving the lives of others and a belief that it does not matter where you came from; it matters where you are going."--Condoleezza Rice, Former U.S.?Secretary of State
"Essential reading for civic leaders, soldiers and statesmen alike. One of our most thoughtful and dynamic leaders lays out how a holistic approach is required to address some of our nation's most complex problems."--Gen. (Ret.) Stanley A. McChrystal
?eoeConnie Rice is the most brilliant legal mind I?e(TM)ve encountered in my twenty-year broadcast history.? I hang on her every word.?She concedes nothing without a demand--never has and never will.?e --Tavis Smiley
"Genuinely compelling.... [An] inspiring, passionate story."--Kirkus
"This powerful memoir offers vivid accounts of the fight for social justice from the streets to the courtroom. An excellent read."--Booklist
"A big, important story ...?of [Rice's] passion, her history, her legal record and her connection to both the powerful and the underprivileged in Los Angeles."--Carolyn Kellogg, Los Angeles Times