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Pressure Makes Diamonds: Becoming the Woman I Pretended to Be

Pressure Makes Diamonds: Becoming the Woman I Pretended to Be

Written by Valerie Graves

Narrated by Trei Taylor


Pressure Makes Diamonds: Becoming the Woman I Pretended to Be

Written by Valerie Graves

Narrated by Trei Taylor

ratings:
4.5/5 (27 ratings)
Length:
10 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Jun 8, 2021
ISBN:
9781094418872
Format:
Audiobook

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Editor's Note

A star…

Valerie Graves started life in the projects of Pontiac, Michigan. Her own strength and determination kept her on her path to greatness, eventually overcoming the odds of race and socioeconomic depression to become a star in the world of advertising. It was no small feat to climb the ladder normally reserved for white men, and despite her travails, her memoir is one of hope and optimism for the world she believes we can still create.

Description

This is the unflinching memoir of a female African American advertising executive’s unprecedented and unlikely success, which began in the Mad Men era. It follows her journey from the projects of Motown-era Michigan to the skyscrapers of Madison Avenue and beyond. With marches, riots, and demonstrations as the backdrop, and rock ’n’ roll as a soundtrack, this book accompanies Graves as she traverses the seismically shifting terrain of 1960s and ’70s America on her quest to “be somebody.”
In the ’80s and ’90s, as Graves makes her ascent to the East Coast heights of the white male–dominated advertising world, she turns familiarity with harsh realities like racism and sexism into robust insights that deeply connect with African American consumers. During the golden era of black advertising, she becomes an undisputed “somebody.” Soon, though, she learns that money, success, a good marriage, and connections that reach all the way to the White House cannot entirely insulate her against the social ills that threaten to crush black Americans.
Publisher:
Released:
Jun 8, 2021
ISBN:
9781094418872
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as ebookEbook

About the author

Valerie Graves, whom Advertising Age magazine named one of the “100 Best and Brightest” in the entire industry, is a nationally recognized creative director of such Fortune 500 accounts as Ford, General Motors, AT


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What people think about Pressure Makes Diamonds

4.4
27 ratings / 5 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (4/5)
    Interesting memoir, I gave my copy to a great friend and she thoroughly enjoyed it, as well.
  • (5/5)
    This is a well-written personal memoir. It will be of interest to anyone who grew up in the sixties, not just black women.
  • (5/5)
    This is a very interesting and worthwhile memoir of an African American advertising superstar. This has all the elements of a classic business success narrative, but also is the story of the growth and development of African American business, There are many strands that come together here. This title will be of interest to anyone who is interested in African American history or entrepreneurship. Also anyone interested in women's entrepreneurship.
  • (4/5)
    Interesting read. Written well and is intriguing. Have passed it on to others. Would look forward to other books by this author.
  • (3/5)
    Valerie Graves touched on a very important topic in her memoir: "Black working poor remain invisible...they are just trying to find a way to be black without selling out or being taken advantage of. (page 95)"I also liked how she spoke about abandon dreams in which she pursued a career to fend after her and her son such as nursing but later tapped into her dream and soared in advertising. I am so glad she did not settle. She expounded on how advertising lacks diversity. When conquering her dream job she almost didn't get it but she was able to gain this position without finishing her college degree or having a degree. She was working with those who had had Harvard degrees, etc. but it did not stop her from doing what she loved and working with such entertainers in the process. She did mention that 'getting a foot in the door like getting an education' which it is best to get that opportunity as much as it is to obtain the education. Some of us are lucky for being college drop-outs like Kanye and become celebrities overnight than struggling and owing that college debt back--just to work a dead-end job or barely making ends meet. I also enjoyed reading about how she struggled with her husband, because they were both independent beings, headstrong, and had me curious how this worked out since I have met someone who is also an intellectual and headstrong like myself. She also loved him regardless of his riches (which she says he didn't have any $) but was rich in potential.I won a complimentary copy from LibraryThing contest to provide a honest review.