Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images
Then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice speaks to the press at the State Department in Washington in January 2009.
Then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice speaks to the press at the State Department in Washington in January 2009. Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images
February is Black History Month and Tell Me More observes the month with a series of short vignettes. In this installment, regular contributor Mary Kate Cary shares her black history hero.
I'm Mary Kate Cary, columnist for U.S. News and World Report and a frequent contributor to Tell Me More's "Political Chat" segment. The black history figure I admire is Condoleezza Rice.
Here she is playing the piano along with Yo-Yo Ma on cello — leading to her once being called the "most prominent amateur musician in the world."
Condoleezza Rice grew up in segregated Birmingham, Alabama in the '60s. In her recent book Extraordinary, Ordinary Lives, she vividly recalls the violence of the Ku Klux Klan, and the death of four girlfriends killed in the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing. That crime, she later said, "was calculated to suck the hope out of young lives, [to] bury their aspirations."
But that didn't happen to Condi Rice.
Instead, she went on to become our first female National Security Advisor, our first female African American Secretary of State, and the first female, African-American and the youngest person named Provost of Stanford University.
I can picture her being our first female President someday, too.
Her extraordinary, ordinary life is a role model for American women, including ones like me who are not African-American.