This book is a memoir written by an African American woman who grew up in the rural South during the late 1930s and1940s. Being poor and having to confront three types of prejudices—racial, color within the Negro race (some perpetrated by her own relatives), and poverty—affected her self-esteem and feelings of self-worth. She dreamed of being a different person, and in at least one instance while in grade school, she tried to change her personal appearance in a nonsensible manner that could have been dangerous. In her early twenties, just as her self-concept was improving, an uncontrollable illness made her feel that she was living between heaven and hell. She includes bits of history, sociology, and psychology in telling about her life. In the later part of the memoir, she describes the effect that being involved in a newly developing role in academia had upon her life and others. Through her writings, the reader becomes more knowledgeable about life as a black person and can learn some unknown facts about race relations, working in positions that are not well-known by the general public, experiences with sexism, and combating everyday human problems.