The Black Girl Next Door is a memoir written by Yale professor Jennifer Baszile who shared about her life growing up in mostly white neighborhoods and schools in California. I enjoyed reading how she fit in with the children and also how her parents scolded her and her sister for not getting to know the black kids very much. Her father was angry that her older sister was talking to a white guy on a cruise, and their parents made it an assignment that they get to know every other black child on the cruise! It was funny reading about her first mall makeover and her first relaxer. I never realized how painful this process could be and reading how one prepared for it by not washing her hair -- or scratching her head -- for about 3 weeks prior was mildly shocking. I enjoyed reading about Jennifer's experience visiting her father's family in Louisiana and her mom's family in Detroit. It was interesting seeing things through a young black girl's eyes. She said segregation had been hard on her parents, and integration was hard on her. She decided to put much space between her and CA and went east for college where she was no longer the "black girl next door."
Shadow Warriors by Kenneth Timmerman ... This book really made me further disgusted with politics, bureaucrats, the media, even people I never knew I would have a "beef" with -- the CIA. The author shares about WMDs in Iraq, leadership within Iraq after the invasion, when the "liberation" became an occupation and problems found in Iraq that the US wasn't expecting. One startling thing was when CIA agents were guarding opposite sides. Two enemies met and agents were in charge of both sides. How can our country have agents on both sides? Argh!
Of interest to me ... worst surprises of liberation (pg. 70-1), CIA on two sides (pg. 72), media distortion (pg. 78), inviting Iraqis to be guests in their own country (pg. 89), change from liberation to occupation (pg. 89), Zell Miller's words re: the CIA (pg. 109), Clinton people in the Bush administration (pg. 206), the 16th U.S. intelligence agency (pg. 228), the chapter on the missing WMDs (pg. 258+), Shia Iran's involvement and using Sunni insurgents for its own purposes (pg. 313) and the concluding words dealing with the big question (pg. 321).