- Born in 1947 into the upper-class of black Chicago. Her father was a physician; her mother, a socialite.
- Jefferson was appointed critic-at-large, covering theater, for the New York Times in 1966. In 1995 Jefferson was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for criticism. http://www.nytimes.com/ref/theater/JEFFERSON-BIO.html
- Jefferson is a storyteller and through her memoir she is not only telling her own story, but she is telling the stories of others from Negroland - some may call her a Village Griot for Negroland.
"'We're considered upper-class Negroes and upper-middle-class Americans,' Mother says. 'But most people would like to consider us Just More Negroes'" (43).
Networks of Affiliation
Jefferson on Mary Jane McLeod Bethune:
"She longed to go to Africa as a missionary. The Baptist Mission Service informed her that they had no place in Africa for a Negro missionary, so she returned to the American South and became a missionary to young black girls threatened by poverty, ignorance, and degradation. She built a matriarchal kingdom from the ramshackle materials of Negro life in Florida" (61).