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Short Synopsis
Born Bright, C. Nicole Mason's powerful memoir, is a story of reconciliation, constrained choices, and life on the other side of the tracks.

Full Synopsis
Born Bright, C. Nicole Mason's powerful memoir, is a story of reconciliation, constrained choices, and life on the other side of the tracks. Born in the 1970s in Los Angeles, California, Mason was raised by a beautiful but volatile sixteen-year-old single mother. Early on, she learned to navigate between an unpredictable home life and school, where she excelled.

By high school, Mason was seamlessly straddling two worlds. The first, a cocoon of familiarity where street smarts, toughness, and the ability to survive won the day. The other, foreign and unfamiliar with its own set of rules, not designed for her success. In her Advanced Placement classes and outside of her neighborhood, she felt unwelcomed and judged because of the way she talked, dressed, and wore her hair.

After moving to Las Vegas to live with her paternal grandmother, she worked nights at a food court in one of the mega casinos while finishing school. Mason would eventually board a plane for Howard University, alone and with $200 in her pocket.

"Readers will find Mason’s absorbing memoir—which would make an excellent book-club selection—to be an interesting take on the issue of entrenched poverty in the U.S." ---Booklist

“Intimate and insightful.” ---Bustle

“Compelling . . . [an] urgent memoir, showing not only what poverty looks like but what it feels like as well." ---Essence

"This firsthand account of a passage out of poverty will inspire readers interested in the strength of the human spirit in overcoming formidable obstacles." ---Library Journal

"Mason's breadth of personal and academic knowledge makes her a rare and valuable voice in the poverty policy debates, and this heartfelt memoir will have broad appeal." ---Shelf Awareness

"A thoughtful, well-crafted rejoinder to Claude Brown’s half-century-old Manchild in the Promised Land, speaking to the power of hope and the institutional changes needed to make hope possible." ---Kirkus

"[A] raw and intimate memoir . . . Mason vividly illustrates the grit, determination, and “herculean effort” necessary to reframe a young life steeped in unyielding poverty." ---Publisher's Weekly

Born Bright

A Young Girl's Journey from Nothing to Something in America

Author C. Nicole Mason

Narrated by Robin Eller

Publication date Aug 16, 2016

Running time 9 hrs

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