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From Liberty to Magnolia: In Search of the American Dream

4.51  ·  Rating details ·  99 ratings  ·  71 reviews
From Liberty to Magnolia: In Search of the American Dream has received, and continues to receive, national and international recognition and awards since its debut in 2018. It is a true, powerful, and compelling story about the enduring scourge of racism and sexism in America. It is a personal account of how that bane of evil plays out in the lives of blacks and women desp ...more
Published by Christian Faith Publishing (first published February 1st 2018)
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Janice Ellis My Ph.D. is in Communications Arts from the University of Wisconsin

The title of my thesis is The Rhetorical Theory and Practice of Walter Lippmann: Ad…more
My Ph.D. is in Communications Arts from the University of Wisconsin

The title of my thesis is The Rhetorical Theory and Practice of Walter Lippmann: Advocacy Journalism as Rhetorical Discourse

I am in the process of publishing a book in 2020 based on that thesis. The new, Shaping Public Opinion: How Real Advocacy Journalism Should Be Practiced from Walter Lippmann

Thank you for your question. My apology for the delay in answering. I have been consumed with finishing the manuscript for my new book, which is due to the publisher by December 20.(less)
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Dr. Ellis' memoir chronicles her life story from rural Mississippi to her graduate work and municipal leadership in Wisconsin and to her work in the corporate world in Missouri. Ellis' life is a story of the challenges and triumphs of being a black woman, in a sense it's a story of intersectionality. I was mostly surprised when I read about her relationship with her first husband and the plexiglass barriers she faced when trying to move up in her professional life. I was very impressed that she ...more
Stephen R.
Jan 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“Liberty to Magnolia” is a fantastic book. When I first saw it, I thought it was historical fiction, but then realized it was the author’s true story, which made it even better. I enjoy reading autobiographies of people who have a different perspective than me, or who have had vastly different experiences – and a professional Black woman who grew up in the South fits the bill perfectly.

I enjoy reading about both race and the woman’s perspective because I’m often convinced that I’m blind to both
In this lovely book, Dr. Ellis describes her journey from a small farm in rural Mississippi to a high-powered job in corporate America and beyond. Along the way, she struggles with the dual challenges of being black and female; I don’t doubt that being a Southerner was a subtle barrier for her as well when she moved north to pursue education and work. The author expresses herself well and quickly draws you into her story. She paints a picture that feels vivid and real. This is a story that needs ...more
Stephanie Jane
Mar 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
See more of my book reviews on my blog, Literary Flits

I was delighted to be chosen to take part in this tour because I really wanted to read Janice Ellis's autobiography and I can honestly say that I wasn't disappointed. Ellis is a truly inspiring woman, determined and ultimately successful despite her two social disadvantages - being black and being female. Ellis came of age about sixty years after W E B Du Bois published his essay collection The Souls Of Black Folk so it was shocking for me to
I thoroughly enjoyed the first part of this book that described Janice's relationship with her family and her childhood through her leaving home for college and her first marriage. This part drew me into a personal story with details both inspirational and heartbreaking. I didn't stay quite as engaged with the middle part of the book which was primarily about the author's professional life and spent a while delving specifically into her own research and journalistic writing. My interest increase ...more
Katherine Hebert
Thought provoking

From Liberty to Magnolia is a thought provoking memoir from Janice Ellis about her struggle to rise above her environment and the racism of the world that was also holding her back. The story of her struggle to do better, even without the support of her family who were concerned that she would be heartbroken if she failed, is positively inspiring. While she focuses on the correlation in time with the Civil Rights movement, it feels very current as well with the social discrepanc
Mar 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
From Liberty to Magnolia: Janice S. Ellis

Thomas Jefferson was the principal author of the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration states, “We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” All men are created equal and there are certain unalienable rights that governments should never violate. These rights include the right to life
Apr 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Inalienable rights

Author Janice S. Ellis earned degrees in communication arts, political science and philosophy from the University of Wisconsin, and in addition to her history of serving as an executive in government, marketing and in the pharmaceutical industry, she has written articles in the media on race, politics, education, child advocacy, women’s rights and racial equality.

The impact of this beautifully written book is increased knowing that the story is an autobiography. In sharing her
Brian Aird
May 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From Liberty to Magnolia: In Search of the American Dream by Janice S. Ellis, Ph.D.

From Liberty to Magnolia: In Search of the American Dream by Janice S. Ellis, Ph.D. is the story of a woman's inspirational journey in search of the American dream and the quest of realizing her full potential as a human being.

Janice S. Ellis chronicles her life's experiences through the reality and lens of being an African American woman. The tumultous times that will undoubtedly inspire the reader include the a
Mar 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wasn’t really sure what I was expecting when I started this book, but what I got was a journey following the life of a young black female, going from being a little girl on her mom and dad’s farm in Mississippi to becoming quite the successful woman with a college degree.

The book mentions quite often that the author is a black female – two minority groups – during her time of growing up. Both of which created struggled that she overcame.

I found the book very detailed and some parts were repeti
Guy Wheatley
May 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Dr. Ellis and I see the political world differently. My endorsement of her book is in no way an endorsement of her political stances. I am reviewing strictly on readability and enjoyability. The book is a look at the journey from poverty to success. It is inspirational in that we watch someone overcome the circumstances of her birth to reach financial success and national prominence.
Dr. Ellis came into this world only a few years before me. We both lived in the south, and for all of our differen
The Book Girl
May 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I loved this memoir. This is an incredible moving book written by a woman that inspires me, Dr. Ellis. She has a way with words that just really resonated with me. I couldn't put this book down, which is rare for me with nonfiction.

In this book, Dr. Ellis shares her hopes, dreams, and her life with us. I loved the honesty and rawness of her writing. She includes details that will empower women everywhere to speak up and not allow the same treatment against themselves. As a woman, I couldn't help
Lyn Jensen
Feb 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You may have never heard of Dr. Janice S. Ellis, except if you live in Kansas City or Milwaukee, but her memoirs remind us what one woman can do. She's black but her experience isn't limited by her skin color.
In the first part, she recounts her childhood on a small black-owned farm between the Mississippi towns of Liberty and Magnolia amid segregation in the sixties, her schooling, first in segregated grade schools and later as a rare black woman studying for several advanced degrees including a
Jerry Olasakinju
Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Janice Ellis truly pours her heart out in her enigmatic book, From Liberty to Magnolia.
While recognizing that America, as a country, has made significant progresses through its civil rights and women liberation movements, but she is still saddened by instances of endemic sexism and racism that are holding the country back from attaining the glory it is very capable of attaining.
If you are looking for a gripping tale that is partly historical and partly a long, call-to-action missive, this is sur
Apr 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
From Liberty to Magnolia is the autobiography of Dr. Janice S. Ellis, a black woman who grew up on a small cotton farm in the 1960s. It details her life and struggles throughout the civil rights movement and the women’s liberation movement. She always aspired to more than a farm life, and had a love of books and education since she was a child. Despite her disadvantages and many people trying to hold her back, she worked her way through school, corporate jobs, and politics, and is now a successf ...more
Jo Bass
Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a hard book to read, and a wonderful book, all at the same time. Hard because it shines a light on the deep struggles of black people in America, especially those who lived in the south eastern part of the United States, as well as the ongoing struggle of women everywhere to maintain their feminine side while supporting their families. In a sense, it is a deeply personal book for me because although I do not share the skin color, I also grew up in a farming community. My mother was a si ...more
Jun 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing

From liberty to magnolia is a motivating account of a brave woman who grew up in a countryside isolated Mississippi and defeated the real ugly life of preconception against being a woman and being black. This book is divided into two parts. The first part with the subtitle “finding my purpose” talks about the writer's childhood, her education, family, and exceptional impacts in her life. She narrates how it was like growing up at the time of the women liberation movements and civil rights moveme
Jimmy Jefferson
Jul 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A doctor's story of growing and flourishing in a time of racism and sexism

This is the life experiences of a woman who grew up in the racist and sexist period in this great country. Dr. Ellis shares her experiences with us as she describes what it was like to grow up in this time in American history. Today we tell our children they can be anything they want. I the time Dr Ellis grew up some of the children were told they couldn't do things they dreamed of. This book is about the dreams of Dr Ell
Julius Blitzy
Jul 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The fight for the ‘American Dream’ is something that has been going on for ages, this approach comes from a fragile time in history, but it is as inspiring as is it brutally honest, it’s an important read for all of us.
Despite living in a cornered and poor state, Janice never let her back down and she always move forward, a highly intelligent student and always motivated, the sexism and racism were obligatory struggles she faces along the way, but even after all that she earn a well establish pl
May 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
From Liberty to Magnolia is a tribute to the work Janice Ellis has been doing for years, enlightening the Americans about the racism and sexism that still exists. By using her own experiences she educates and influences people from all walks of life in her writings, speaking engagements, and internet presence. This memoir shows how even when she lived in a hostile environment she was fearless and demanded respect. This was much to the dismay and fear of her mother. As she recalls her youth, Jani ...more
Rachel Kester
Apr 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This novel by Dr. Janice S. Ellis tells the incredible story of a young African American woman searching to find the American Dream during the Civil Rights Movement. Living in the Deep South, she must work to help fight against the evils of racism and segregation, as well as sexism.
This book is well-written and is based on the author’s life. It’s filled with historical events which will help you to learn more about them while seeing the impact they had on people.
If you’re looking for an inspirin
Shanell Meek
Apr 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Both inspiring and empowering.

From Liberty to Magnolia: In Search of the American Dream by Janice S Ellis Ph.D., is Dr Ellis’ biography. She addresses the trails and tribulations that she has been forced to overcome simply because she is a woman or because she is black. I feel like this book would be empowering for young Black people, both men and women, as well as women of all races. The world has come a long way when it comes to both racism and sexism, but we still have a long way to go. It’s
Aug 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: upwork
From Liberty to Magnolia tells the story of Janice Ellis and how despite all odds achieved her dreams. Being an African American Woman during the 1900’s was not necessarily the easiest thing to be when looking make change, have a career, or in some cases, simply exist.

Her story is an example of it does not matter what your circumstances may be, you can achieve success. It will be hard, without a doubt, especially for those who have found them without any resources to succeed, but it is possible
Paige Redwine
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
From Liberty to Magnolia gives a realistic take on racism and sexism in America. I thought the author’s story as an African American woman was inspiring and eye-opening. We tend to forget the effects that racism and sexism have on people and America as a whole. However, it does shed light on the progress America has been able to accomplish in those areas as well. This book inspires hope, reflection, and emotion you don’t normally get from any ordinary book. I think it was very bold for the autho ...more
Julia Grant
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the true and inspiring story of a woman who has endured much and fought for herself. At this point in history, becoming familiar with real stories such as this one is vitally important. Our nation is constantly living in division and polarization. I can relate to the author on one account - I am a woman. On the other hand, I cannot relate to the racism that Ellis has endured during her lifetime. If you can relate to this author's struggles - I recommend this book as an encouragement to n ...more
Apr 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
From Liberty to Magnolia: In Search of the American Dream by Janice S. Ellis is the author's personal memoir of her life. As an African American woman in the time of the burgeoning civil rights movement, Ellis has a strong tale to tell. From her early days growing up on a farm in Mississippi to becoming a successful business woman, this is an inspirational tale that will inspire and motivate just about anyone. Having witnessed so many injustices, she strove to make the best of her situation, and ...more
Jul 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The memoirs of Janice S. Ellis are present here in From Liberty to Magnolia: In Search of the American Dream. It’s an inspirational book that shows in not a great light the last 50 year in America and how we still have such a long road ahead of ourselves to really be equals.
The book tells the story of an African-American woman and all the racism and sexism she had to deal throughout all her life. Growing up in a segregated state could have meant she would never have a career, but she pushed back
Jessie Hilbert
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This memoir was one of the most moving and inspiring books I have read in a long time. Dr. Ellis, is very inspiring to many and this book shows just that. I really couldn't put this book down, which is rare for me with nonfiction. The hopes, dream and many parts of her life that she shares with us are so inspiring and special. She's honest and her writing is raw and real. This book has the ability to empower women everywhere and to encourage them to speak up for themselves. As a woman, I couldn' ...more
Gloria Squitiro
Jun 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received an advance review copy of Ellis's "From Liberty to Magnolia: In Search of the American Dream." By the end of the read, I thought how relevant her message was today, especially when you stand her memoir next to the Me-Too Movement.

Because to me, the only way that women will rise from oppression is if we band together.

Despite Ellis's tragedies, she had the perseverance it took to make something of herself. But imagine the greater heights she could've achieved if other women stood by her
Charlie Latham
Jul 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Uncensored, this is a heart wrenching and revealing book showing that America is far from equal and far from free.

I like to think that in these modern times, sexism and racism are things of the past but sadly this is not true and we must stay aware of that.

It is rife and rampant and to be both black and a women in today’s society still puts you at a massive disadvantage.

But even with this disadvantage it doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve incredible things.

There is a real show of tenacity an
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Janice S. Ellis, M.A., M.A., Ph.D., an award-winning author, is a native daughter of Mississippi, grew up and came of age during the height of the Civil Rights Movement and the Women’s Liberation Movement. Born and reared on a small cotton farm, she was influenced by two converging forces that would set the course of her life.

The first was the fear and terror felt by blacks because of their seekin

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