"There was a time when Elaine Richardson was one of 'the Negroes everybody pointed to as the Negroes you didn't want to become.' The title of this book is no metaphor or allusion, but a literal shorthand for a remarkable, unpredictable journey. She inherits a plain way of talking about horrific pain from a mother who seemed impossible to shock. The way too fast way she grew up was and is too common, but her will to remap her destiny is uncommon indeed. To call her story inspiring would be itself too plain a thing, hers is a heroic life." -dream Hampton, writer and filmmaker ABOUT THE AUTHOR: ELAINE RICHARDSON, Professor of Literacy Studies in the College of Education and Human Ecology at The Ohio State University, is focused on literacy education of African American and African diasporic people, and specializes in critical language and literacy education for social equality. RICHARDSON belongs to a global network of Hiphop activist-educators for social transformation. Richardson founded The Ohio State University Hiphop Literacies Conference and the SistaFriends Afterschool Program in 2011 (currently serving sixth to eighth grade girls at Sherwood Middle school). RICHARDSON uses her story of recovery from human trafficking and drugs to becoming an award winning PhD and recording artist to motivate others. RICHARDSON'S bachelor's and master's degrees are from Cleveland State University and her doctorate from Michigan State University. She has won awards from the National Council of Negro Women, City of Columbus, and Cleveland State University, and other organizations.