Transcending Race: Biographies of Bi-Racial Achievers

Did you know interracial marriage was illegal in 16 states until 1967? The life stories in each volume of Transcending Race in America: Biographies of Biracial Achievers ask and answer this question: What is it like to be biracial in America--to have a mother and a father from different races?


ISBN 978-1-4222-1605-7
The entire series is not available in hardcover. There are 9 out of 11 volumes available.
11 volumes
, 2010
7 1/4 x 9 1/4 inches
Alicia Keys                   
by Russell Roberts

Hardcover ISBN 978-1-4222-2727-5 $22.95 (USD) Add To Cart
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Alicia Keys has dominated hip-hop and R&B music since first bursting onto the scene in 2001. She has released four hit albums, several number one singles, and thrilled fans throughout the world with her live performances. This one-woman dynamo is also a best-selling author, an actress, and a tireless advocate for charitable causes. Success did not just come overnight to Alicia. The biracial daughter of an Italian-American mother and an African-American father from Jamaica, Alicia grew up in the treacherous Hell's Kitchen section of New York City. She had to learn how to avoid danger while staying focused on her dream. It was a dream that required practice, patience, and persistence in the face of several false starts. However, Alicia never gave up and never gave in, and today she has achieved superstardom.

by Chuck Bednar

Hardcover ISBN 978-1-4222-1607-1 $22.95 (USD) Add To Cart
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From the earliest moments of her childhood in Houston, Texas, it was clear that Beyonce, of mixed African-American and Louisiana Creole descent, had a special gift when it came to performing in front of a crowd. At the age of seven, she dominated much older kids in a local talent show, and appeared on national television before she was even a teenager. She went on to become a part of the supergroup Destiny's Child and was one of the key reasons they eventually became one of the most popular female musical groups of all time.The road to success wasn't always easy, however, as Beyonce managed to overcome many obstacles on the road to superstardom, and go on to find both success and happiness in her professional and private lives.Beyonce is a multiple Grammy-award winning superstar, an incredibly talented and successful singer-songwriter, an accomplished actress, and a successful businesswoman. In short, Beyonce is an extraordinary achiever.

Booker T. Washington
by Jim Whiting

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Booker T. Washington was born to a slave woman in 1856. His father was white, but Booker never learned who the man was. From a young age, Booker knew he wanted to go to school. He got his wish when the slaves were freed after the Civil War. When he was 16, he walked hundreds of miles to attend Hampton Institute. At Hampton he studied hard. He also learned the value of hard work.In 1881 he became principal of the Tuskegee Institute. He built the school from the ground up. He devoted the rest of his life to Tuskegee and to black education. He believed learning a trade was the most important type of education. With a useful trade, a black person could more easily fit into white society. Not everyone agreed with him. But no one could ever doubt his dedication to working for the best possible life for his fellow black Americans.

David Blaine
by Chuck Bednar

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David Blaine is one of the world's premiere magicians and escape artists. He has survived being buried alive for an entire week, being frozen in a block of ice for 63 hours, and being submerged for seven days and seven nights. David has also dazzled both live and television audiences with his card tricks and other feats of prestidigitation, while also using his fame and his talents to give back to those in need. Things haven't always been easy for this biracial achiever, though. The son of a father of Puerto Rican and Italian descent and a mother of Russian Jewish descent, David was raised in a single-parent family for much of his childhood. In this book, you'll learn how performing magic helped him deal with the early death of his mother, as well as how he overcame critics and hecklers during some of his recent feats of endurance. His story isn't just inspiring; it's downright magical!

Derek Jeter
by Chuck Bednar

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Derek Jeter's career with the New York Yankees started in style. In his first full season in Major League Baseball, Derek Jeter was named Rookie of the Year and helped his team win the World Series. Things only got better from there. From 1996 through 2008, he made nine All-Star Games, won a total of four World Series Championships, and received countless honors for both his offensive and defensive plays. He has also become one of the Big Apple's biggest celebrities, all while giving back to the community through his Take 2 Foundation. However, the road to baseball stardom wasn't always easy for a biracial man who was raised in Kalamazoo, Michigan. There were times he played poorly, times where he shouldered the blame for team failures, and even times when he struggled with sportsmanship. Through it all, though, Derek worked hard to improve, both on the field and off. His story is one that proves that dedication pays off, as he has met all of his challenges head on, emerging as one of the best ballplayers of his era.

Frederick Douglass
by Jim Whiting

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Frederick Douglass never knew the identity of his father, though he was probably a white slave owner. His mother was a slave. Frederick was taken from her soon after his birth. He only saw her a few times before she died. It seemed likely that Frederick would live out his life as a slave. But from an early age, he was determined to become a free man. He escaped to the North when he was about 20. A few years later, he discovered that he was an outstanding public speaker. For the rest of his life, Frederick would courageously speak out about the issues that affected his fellow blacks. Sometimes his actions placed him in great danger. During his lifetime no other African American did as much for blacks as Frederick Douglass. Even today his memory continues to inspire many people to work for civil rights and racial justice.

Halle Berry
by Kerrily Sapet

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Halle Berry's life hasn't been easy. Her struggles started early with her abusive father and the discrimination she faced for being biracial. Halle's mother taught her to be proud of her heritage. It was a lesson she wouldn't forget. Halle proved herself to the world. She transformed herself into a world-famous, glamorous movie star. Halle's acting talent has helped her win the movie industry's most prestigious awards, along with honors for her charity work. In 2002, she made history as the first African American to receive an Academy Award for Best Actress. She has inspired countless African-American actresses to fight against racial barriers in Hollywood. This book tells Halle's tale. It offers a look at her challenging childhood and turbulent relationships. She has overcome great obstacles to achieve success in her career and personal life. She continues to thrill audiences on the big screen, and shows little sign of slowing.

Mariah Carey
by Kerrily Sapet

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Mariah Carey's life is a Cinderella story. She began as a poor, hard-working beauty who endured harsh discrimination for being biracial. As in a fairy tale, her amazing singing talent helped her escape her tough neighborhood. Soon, she had transformed into a world-famous star. Mariah has captured music's most prestigious awards, along with honors for her charity work. Her first five singles topped the music charts, setting a new record. With 18 number-one hits she has more chart-topping singles than any solo artist in the United States. Her career shows no sign of slowing. Many expect her to challenge The Beatles' world record of 20 number-one hits. This book tells Mariah's tale. It weaves together her challenging biracial childhood, divorce, and breakdown with her career and personal triumphs. Mariah Carey not only thrills the world with her five-octave voice, but she also helps needy children overcome their obstacles, just as she did.

by David Robson

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In a music industry where one-hit wonders come and go, Prince, son of a black father and a white mother, is a long-running exception. With his monster guitar work, suggestive songs, and a fashion sense that is all his own, this biracial achiever has spent over thirty years as a pop culture icon. His albums Purple Rain, Sign "O" the Times, and Musicology set new standards for pop music showmanship. His work in filmmaking and multimedia proved him to be one of the more progressive artists in the business, all the while earning him millions of dollars and legions of avid fans. Yet Prince's prodigious talents have sometimes fallen victim to his excesses and obsessions. Explicit lyrics and squabbles with record executives are but two of the more controversial chapters in a long and rich career. Through it all, Prince has forged an extraordinary musical legacy and brought fans of all races together to enjoy his unique combination of rock, funk, and R&B. This new biography offers an in-depth look at a living legend and explores his genius through interviews as well as his timeless music.

Rosa Parks
by Russell Roberts

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On December 1, 1955, 42-year-old Rosa Parks became the "Mother of the Civil Rights Movement" in America by refusing to give up her bus seat to a white passenger. On that day, Rosa, of mixed African-American, Muscogee Indian, and Scots-Irish ancestry, helped launch one of the most important movements of the 20th century. Born Rosa Louise McCauley in Tuskegee, Alabama, in 1913, Rosa attended the Montgomery Industrial School for Girls at the age of 11. Thanks in part to the education she received there, Rosa went from small-town seamstress to the driving force behind the Montgomery Bus Boycotts. A true biracial achiever, Rosa was honored with both a Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal prior to her death in 2005. Her story of trials, tribulations, and success inspires all readers with her strength and courage.

Salma Hayek
by Kerrily Sapet

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Salma Hayek is the first and only Mexican actress to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress. She has broken down racial barriers in Hollywood, establishing herself as the most influential Hispanic woman in the movie industry. A Mexican actress of Lebanese and Spanish descent, Salma has faced racism and stereotypes throughout her life. But she is proud of her multi-cultural heritage, and has worked hard to become a respected actress, producer, and director. With her production companies, Salma also provides opportunities for other Latin-American actors. However, her movies tell stories that appeal to people of all races and cultures. This book tells Salma's story. It offers a look at her early struggles as a biracial actress in the U.S. and her rise to fame. She has overcome great challenges to achieve success. A glamorous and talented star, Salma plans to keep following her dreams for years to come.

Soledad O'Brien
by David Robson

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For decades, television news remained dominated by white, male faces. But over the last 20 years, American broadcast journalism has increasingly reflected the diversity of the nation itself. Soledad O'Brien, biracial daughter of an Afro-Cuban mother and Australian father, first found fame as one beautiful TV reporter among many. But the Harvard graduate wanted to be taken seriously. From her early career at NBC to her star-making turn on CNN's American Morning, Soledad has exuded a sharp intelligence and a determination to ask the right questions and share the most intriguing stories of her generation. Yet for all her professionalism and promise, Soledad's career in the fickle world of TV news has sometimes met with tragedy and disappointment. The death of colleague David Bloom in Iraq and, later, her sudden firing from CNN's American Morning put her career in a temporary tailspin. Through it all, she has remained a vital media force by taking on special projects that make a difference, including Children of the Storm, Black in America, and Black in America 2. This new biography offers an in-depth portrait of one of today's most valued TV journalists.

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