Review by Abimbola Omojowo -- From Liberty to Magnolia: ...

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Abimbola Omojowo
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Latest Review: From Liberty to Magnolia: In Search of the American Dream by Janice S. Ellis

Review by Abimbola Omojowo -- From Liberty to Magnolia: ...

Post by Abimbola Omojowo »

[Following is a volunteer review of "From Liberty to Magnolia: In Search of the American Dream" by Janice S. Ellis.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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From Liberty to Magnolia: In Search of the American Dream


This is a memoir written by Janice S. Ellis narrating her life's journey from childhood to adulthood, as a black child and also a woman. Janice was born in Mississippi in the 1950s, an era steeped in racism and sexism and she was privy to the worst of them. Growing up on her family's farm (which they were privileged to own unlike their contemporaries), life was tough. At an early stage in her life, she experienced first-hand racial segregation at the public water fountain, bathrooms, stores etc. It was an era where blacks were often brutally killed for apparently no reason except for their skin colour and the perpetrators were never brought to justice.

Her parents were hard workers who instilled strong work ethics in their children. They had a tradition of watching the evening news and so teenaged Janice was inspired by the likes of Eric Sevareid, Walter Lipmann to be a political columnist. Even though the odds were stacked against her being a black woman, she was resolute and studied harder than most of her peers to achieve her dreams. She had to keep striving hard in order to be taken seriously even by other blacks, especially her mother who always told her not to keep her head in the cloud but to live with their reality. In addition, she was married to an abusive husband, who was jealous of her accomplishment and always putting her down, making her sometimes unsure of herself. As if that’s not enough, she also went through a near marriage that could have hindered if not terminated her career.

One thing I like about the book From Liberty to Magnolia: In Search of the American Dream is her straightforwardness and openness in the narration of both the positive and negative aspects of her life. She was able to pass her message across both powerfully and convincingly, given her background in communication and political science. In all her studies, she had good grades and was always striving for more. In the workplace, she went through some experience that made her doubt the essence of her degrees and stellar performance.

There is nothing that I didn't like about this book, I would give it a 4 out of 4 ratings. Except for some negligible typographical errors, it seems to have been well edited. I enjoyed reading it so much and wouldn't mind doing so again and again. I find it quite illuminating and informative, one of the best autobiography I’ve ever read.


I would recommend this book to anyone who likes non-fiction and young adult who might be going through the self-discovery phase of life. It has enough to motivate one and also serve as an assurance that with determination and resilience one can go far in life.

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From Liberty to Magnolia: In Search of the American Dream
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Juliet+1
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Post by Juliet+1 »

Thanks for a great review! I'm reading "From Liberty to Magnolia" now, and so far I really like it. I'm at the point where she's graduating from high school. Can't wait to see what comes next.

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