The author tells her life story through journals and real life vignettes written in the first person. She describes her experiences while growing up in a segregated, mid-twentieth century African American community. Nurturing relationships and activities in her working class African American home, learning in segregated African American schools, and strong connections between her home, schools, and other community institutions are described. Family history and customs, community characteristics, and socio-economic and political circumstances and events that affected her early life and her upbringing are described.
Included in her story are prominent people, places, events, and circumstances that facilitated her holistic development from early childhood through adolescence. Readers will be able to infer how all the above factors and enriched learning activities in and outside of school resulted in her a positive self-image and outlook on life as well as her determination to pursue chemistry studies in challenging higher education institutions. Throughout the book the author provides commentary in which she explicitly connects her early life with events and experiences (academic, professional, and personal family life) that occurred along her journey in later years.