From one of America’s most influential civil rights attorneys, Power Concedes Nothing is a hard-hitting memoir chronicling a fiercely dedicated woman’s quest to win the first of all human rights: freedom from violence.
CONNIE RICE has taken on school and bus systems, Death Row, the states of Mississippi and California, and the Los Angeles Police Department — and won. Not just in court, where she vindicated major civil rights cases, but also on the streets and in prisons, where she spearheaded campaigns to reduce gang violence. Los Angeles magazine concluded that Connie’s work “has picked up where Clarence Darrow left off.”
In her extraordinary memoir, Rice chronicles her odyssey, the people who inspired her, and the teams she forged with allies and former foes. She counts among her partners LAPD police chiefs William Bratton and Charlie Beck, Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, and gang interventionists such as Darren “Bo” Taylor.
Rice — second cousin of former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice — writes of being the great-granddaughter of former slaves and slave owners who prized the aggressive pursuit of knowledge. Even her U.S. Air Force childhood, with seventeen moves across three continents, could not disrupt this family legacy of voracious accomplishment.
After joining the NAACP Legal Defense Fund’s West Coast office in 1990, Rice left the courtroom and took to the streets of the “kill zones” in the wake of the cataclysmic LAPD beating of Rodney King in 1991. What she learned from the invisible poor of underground Los Angeles would change her mission forever.
In her trek through gangland, Rice discovers that if you bury the underclass, you imperil yourself — a warning that her allies from law enforcement and the military strongly endorse.
Provocative and passionate, studded with dramatic episodes from the trenches of impact litigation and America’s most dangerous neighborhoods, Power Concedes Nothing is the story of an indomitable woman who knows that, without a demand, power concedes nothing.
Power Concedes Nothing: One Woman’s Quest for Social Justice in America, from the Courtroom to the Kill Zones by Connie Rice