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Tuesday's Connector: Condoleezza Rice

October 15th, 2010
12:01 PM ET

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.

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/10/15/condi.art.gi.jpg
caption="Condoleezza Rice is your Connector of the Day."]

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.

Here's your chance to send in your questions to Condoleezza Rice.

Do you want to know about her family history? Are you interested in asking her about her time in Washington?

Please leave your questions below - you can also send them in via Facebook at www.facebook.com/cnnconnect or on Twitter @BeckyCNN.

soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Lewis

    Do you think you'll ever enter the political arena again?? what do you make of the teapart?? So different than the conservative values you grew up with i imagine

    October 15, 2010 at 12:21 pm | Reply
  2. Brajesh

    How do you rate Hillary Clinton as a Secy of State?

    October 15, 2010 at 12:26 pm | Reply
  3. Natalie

    The current administration is making a huge push for Middle East Peace – quite early on in Obama's tenure. How do you think they're doing, and are they doing anything differently from your administration?

    October 15, 2010 at 12:27 pm | Reply
  4. truthnow

    Who taught you to lie so well? During the Bush administration at least every second word out of your mouth was a lie. I've never seen anyone before, who could lie that well without even blinking once, it's amazing. You can sell people anything, especially wars, wonderful, will you marry me?

    October 15, 2010 at 12:46 pm | Reply
  5. Shabbir Ismail

    Clearly you inherited a legacy from Colin Powell. If you had been Secy. of State instead of Powell, is there anything that you would've done differently?

    October 15, 2010 at 12:50 pm | Reply
  6. Tom Richmond

    Having lead America and thousands of innocent young soldiers into an illegal war do you feel in any way responsible for the atrocities of your administration?

    October 15, 2010 at 12:53 pm | Reply
  7. Michael

    This is most likely not the first time this question has been asked, but would you consider running for the President of the USA?

    October 15, 2010 at 12:53 pm | Reply
  8. angkory13

    Do you sleep at night?

    October 15, 2010 at 12:59 pm | Reply
  9. Sami E. Baroudi

    During your tenure as secretary of state you worked closely with the French on Lebanon and the Middle East. Do you think that this partnership with France produced positive results for Lebanon and the region. Do you also agree that the West seems to have lost Lebanon to Syria and Iran?

    October 15, 2010 at 1:29 pm | Reply
  10. betty

    I am a foreign national and had my US visa cancelled during your tenure as Secretary of State unjustly and unfairly; and I wasn´t even in the US at the time. How can someone who has suffered injustice and prejudice inflict the same damage.

    October 15, 2010 at 1:30 pm | Reply
  11. Scott

    As a professed Christian, why did you explicitely reject Bible prophecy about not splitting up Israel although you were clearly advised on this matter along with President Bush?

    October 15, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Reply
  12. Julius

    Hello Ms Condy! When are u planning to have ur own family? Do you have a partner in ur life?!

    October 15, 2010 at 1:57 pm | Reply
  13. Paul Bridges

    Do you support paying compensations to Iraq after the illegal invasion by the US Army in 2003?

    October 15, 2010 at 2:06 pm | Reply
  14. rufus b

    do you think GB and the others should be prosecuted for war crimes? and yourself?

    October 15, 2010 at 2:07 pm | Reply
  15. noel

    i am noel from bangalore in india president obama wants to stop outsourcing what is your say on this sensitve issue me being in india thinks that whites always are better both in leadership issues and business no offence meant

    October 15, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Reply
  16. Mim Williams

    Margret Thatcher was such a calm and firm leader for England. Our country is in Dire need of this kind of leadership. You have proven yourself to be competent, intelligent, consistent, assured, firm and calm. Would you consider four more years of service to us – but this time at the top?

    October 15, 2010 at 2:28 pm | Reply
  17. Jurgen R. Brul

    Hello Condoleezza Rice and CNN friends,

    I would like an answer from Condoleezza Rice on the following questions:

    – What would you as the 20th United States National Security Advisor and the 66th United States Secretary of State IMPROVE on the way the United States president Barack Hussein Obama handled the Car Bomb found in New York's Times Square and the Delta Airline Bomb Situation in Detroit?

    – What would you IMPROVE on the United States president Barack Hussein Obama’s Dissension on building a Mosque near Ground Zero, because in Suriname a Mosque is build near a Jewish Synagogue for Years?

    – What can we expect from you in 2010 and 2011?

    I am awaiting Condoleezza Rice’s replies.

    Jurgen R. Brul
    Hometown: Paramaribo
    Country: Suriname

    October 15, 2010 at 3:42 pm | Reply
  18. Oliver Dillon Squire

    What inspired you to achieve such political success?

    Oliver Dillon Squire


    October 15, 2010 at 7:47 pm | Reply
  19. Mary

    I would not care for her responses on such irrelevant topics as the Mosque around the corner from ground zero.

    I would ask about her naivety and lack of professionalism in the fact that many people knew and the previous Daddy Bush administration knew that a Iraqi society was split between a Sunni (rather moderate minority) and Shiite Muslims (Iranians are Shiite's jihadists) not to mention the Kurds, and the Christians ( the Christians now are all dead and gone) and that is why in early 90's under pappa Bush they backed out of the invasion due to good advice. Yet under Mr Bush Jr. and his advisors like Dick Cheney (both men invested in oil companys and oil infrasturctures) lied to the American people and told them this was the source of the war.
    It was not! But they created another war and we lost american solders for nothing! Look at this Iraq it still has no government and the Shite majority is warm to Iran. How stupid could the Bush administration be (greed begets stupidity).
    What about the real war in Afganistan that was where the jihad is and Osama Ben Laden, but who cars when you just want oil.

    She lacks the intellectual capacity people gave her credit for, nor does she have any ethical sensibility.

    Personally she is a puppet of the Bush administration which needed to promote a minority in the administration.

    She is irrelevant and CNN should waste media time on her.

    Oh and BTW Greed begetting stupidity – the next will be the greedy banks who want to keep the Bush tax cuts to pad their pockets as they charge interest rates that are basically loan sharking. I had an American friend tell me they just did thatto him. Luckily I do not live in the US anymore. Obama is correct to end the Bush tax cuts for everyone under 250 as he says but I would say 150 cutting out senators and congressmen salaries also.

    October 15, 2010 at 8:52 pm | Reply
  20. Ellis Ajoku

    I still relish then your position that preventative methods be adopted for counter-terrorism efforts. I saw you as a moderate, but please honestly answer- What can you say about your role in broadening the scope of countries tagged as the "Axis of Evil", something which in my opinion, further fuelled anti-Americanism?

    I still wonder what went through your mind when the administration you served under kept on insisting that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.

    Ellis Ajoku from Nigeria.

    October 18, 2010 at 11:07 pm | Reply

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