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Condoleezza Rice's personal memoir of her family history called,"Extraordinary, Ordinary People," hit book stands earlier this week and recalls much of her family's time during the Civil Rights era in Birmingham.
Rice has said that she will write a memoir about her eight years in the White House but felt she could not do so until people understood the "personal and implausible journey" she had taken from being born in 1950s segregated Alabama to being named the first female African-American to lead the State Department.
All of this happened, Rice said, due to her parents, John and Angelena Rice.
A guidance counselor/preacher and school teacher respectively, Mr. And Mrs. Rice never made more than $60,000 annually, Rice said.
Despite being raised in a city resistant to quality education for blacks, Rice's parents used their meager resources to provide their only child with piano lessons at 3. She also took French and ballet.
She never learned to swim as a child because Birmingham Public Safety official Eugene "Bull" Connors forbade blacks and whites from sharing public swimming pools.
But Rice's parents refused to let the racial tensions limit her potential.
"Even if I could not have a hamburger at a Woolworth's counter, my mom taught me that I could be President of the United States," Rice said at an author panel during the 10th annual Book Expo America in May.
Rice was one of the most powerful women in Washington serving as both Secretary of State and National Security Advisor.
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