The Time and Place that Gave Me Life

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Indiana University Press, 2007 - Biography & Autobiography - 320 pages

Janet Cheatham Bell's riveting memoir recounts her experiences coming of age as an African American girl in Indianapolis during the 1930s to the mid-1960s. In taut chapters, Bell introduces the reader to a life defined largely by race and racial discrimination. She begins with her birth in 1937 and her parents' early struggles after relocating to Indianapolis from Tennessee. Bell describes her first job as a maid in a wealthy white household and her humiliating experiences at a "white" high school. She describes experiences of racism at Indiana University and how she copes with personal tragedy that she is able to overcome. Devoid of hyperbole or the trauma that defines so many memoirs, particularly those of celebrities, the strength and appeal of Bell's memoir lies in her direct, but personal tone, and her deft use of anecdotes. "I think of myself as ordinary," writes Bell, "but the lives of ordinary people are not identical, and the details of those lives are worth knowing."

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User Review  - eduscapes - LibraryThing

Janet Cheatham Bell's book about her life growing up in Indianapolis and attending college at Bloomington in Indiana. The author who is very close to my own age, reminded me of the depth of racism ... Read full review

Contents

The Overture
1
My Gifts
17
Daring to Hope
35
Copyright

19 other sections not shown

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About the author (2007)

Janet Cheatham Bell is a native Hoosier and publishing entrepreneur. A former education consultant for the Indiana Department of Education, Bell has also taught African American literature at a number of colleges and universities. She lives in Bloomington, Indiana.

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