About the Book
Tell Them What You Want is an inspirational coming of age story of an African-American girl (Bernie) growing up amidst the immense local and national social turmoil of the 1950s to mid 1980s. Her journey begins in an abusive stepfather’s ‘devil house’ and ends in personal and professional triumphs that seemed destined to be out of reach. Sent as a ‘State kid’ to a South-west Ohio college town, Bernie confronts both personal and institutional obstacles with youthful naivety and determination. A teen-age mother intent on protecting self and son, Bernie encounters many interesting and provocative people, some who put financial, educational, physical and social obstacles in her way. Others mentor her through the racism, sexism, and politics of the time. A combination of drama and humor, Tell Them What You Want is a story of losing and finding family, of relationships good and bad, acts of heroism large and small, and finally of an adult woman’s commitment to a future of protecting the little girl inside her who simply won’t let go.
About the Authors
Laverne Merritt-Gordon was born in 1946 in Lincoln Heights Ohio. One of sixteen children, she lived in New Miami Ohio until at age six the ‘State’ sent her to live in Oxford Ohio. She holds a diploma from Talawanda High School, A Bachelor of Science from Miami University, and Masters of Science from Purdue University. Retired from a career in Health Science, Laverne lives in Jacksonville Florida with her husband, Denman P. Gordon, where she is active in Florida’s Democratic Party politics and dedicated to her sons, grand and great-grand children. Tell Them What You Want is Laverne Merritt-Gordon’s first book.
Dr. Beau Grosscup grew up in Oxford Ohio and is Professor Emeritus, Department of Political Science, California State University, Chico. He lives in the Sierra Nevada foothills on Rancho4heavenseko with his partner, the lovely Rose Ann York. Tell Them What You Want is his fifth book.
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