Black Ice (Paperback)

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In 1972 Lorene Cary, a bright, ambitious black teenager from Philadelphia, was transplanted into the formerly all-white, all-male environs of the elite St. Paul's School in New Hampshire, where she became a scholarship student in a "boot camp" for future American leaders.  Like any good student, she was determined to succeed.  But Cary was also determined to succeed without selling out.  This wonderfully frank and perceptive memoir describes the perils and ambiguities of that double role, in which failing calculus and winning a student election could both be interpreted as betrayals of one's skin.  Black Ice is also a universally recognizable document of a woman's adolescence; it is, as Houston Baker says, "a journey into selfhood that resonates with sober reflection, intellignet passion, and joyous love."

About the Author

Lorene Cary is the author of "Black Ice, ""The Price of a Child", "Pride, " and a book for young readers, "Free! Great Escapes on the Underground Railroad". She is the founder and director of Art Sanctuary (, a nonprofit lecture and performance series in Philadelphia. Cary is also a senior lecturer in creative writing at the University of Pennsylvania. She's a past recipient of the Philadelphia Award, the city's highest civic honor. Cary lives in Philadelphia. She and her husband, the Reverend Robert C. Smith, have two daughters, Laura and Zoe. For more information visit her website at

Praise For…

"Probably the most beautifully-written and the most moving African-American autobiographical narrative since Maya Angelou's celebrated I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings."
--Arnold Rampersad

Product Details
ISBN: 9780679737452
ISBN-10: 0679737456
Publisher: Vintage Books
Publication Date: February 4th, 1992
Pages: 256
Language: English
Series: Vintage