Staff Picks: Books
Staff-recommended reading from the
Triumph over Poverty
Rosemary Bray’s memoir first attracted me because she grew up very close to where I spent my childhood. She mentioned so many of the places and events that had been part of my youth. Reading that Rosemary’s mother took her and her siblings on weekly visits to Blackstone Library thrilled me because my very first job had been at the Blackstone Library. But Ms. Bray’s story is so much more inspiring than mine, because even though she grew up in poverty and on welfare she became one of the first black women to attend and graduate from Yale. In Unafraid of the Dark: a memoir, Rosemary Bray reveals how the dark side of her life was made more tolerable by her resourceful mother who would not give up. When her children were starving and needed clothes she went against her abusive husband’s orders and applied for welfare. Inspite of poverty, abuse and feelings of inferiority Rosemary managed to graduate from Francis Parker School, one of Chicago's most affluent schools.
Journalist, Rosemary Bray, wrote Unafraid of the Dark: a memoir to argue that the old welfare system permitted people to rise up to become productive citizens in a way that today’s welfare reform will not allow. I found her book to be insightful as well as intriguing. Rosemary also wrote a Martin Luther King biography for children.
Unafraid of the dark: a memoir