She Can Bring Us Home: Dr. Dorothy Boulding Ferebee, Civil Rights Pioneer

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Dr. Dorothy Ferebee (1898-1980), an African American obstetrician and civil rights activist who lived and worked in Washington, DC, was a descendant of Boston's African American elite. Her family tree included journalists, lawyers, politicians, a suffragette and a judge. Through her platform as president of the powerful National Council of Negro Women and the top tier Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, Ferebee advised presidents and Congress on Civil Rights issues and advised government officials on health policy. In her day, she was a household name; but today she is all but forgotten. Diane Kiesel's biography of Ferebee will introduce her to a new generation of readers. Following the arc of Ferebee's interesting life and family, she begins with Ferebee’s grandfather who escaped slavery in Virginia by stowing away aboard a sailing ship and landing eventually in Boston. Dorothy's family returned to Virginia after the Civil War, but she came back to Boston for her education, leaving the segregated, substandard public schools of the south behind her. She attended Boston Latin, Simmons College and Tufts Medical School, graduating in 1924 and launching an activist career that lasted until her death.

Diane Kiesel is an acting justice of the New York State Supreme Court.  She presides in the Bronx County Criminal Term where she sits in the Integrated Domestic Violence Court.  Before being appointed to the bench she spent 10 years as a prosecutor with the Manhattan District Attorney where she handled cases involving sex crimes, homicides, police corruption and child abuse.  She is an adjunct professor of law and author of a textbook, Domestic Violence: Law, Policy and Practice, published in 2007 by Matthew Bender/LexisNexis.  Diane holds a master's degree in public affairs journalism and before graduating from law school was a journalist in Washington, D.C. where she won the Worth Bingham Prize for distinguished investigative reporting.