Resident’s memoirs reveal battle with racism & sexism

By Rev. Edward D. Gehres, Jr. 

Riderwood Resident

The Rev. Elenora Giddings Ivory, a resident at Riderwood, has just published her memoir. It begins when she was eight years old in 1953 and ends with her move to Riderwood on January 17, 2017, after her retirement from the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). It is addressed to her two grandsons, Andrew and Simon, who visited with her often at various times in her Victorian home in Washington, D. C. 

The book is organized by presidencies of the United States from Harry Truman to Donald Trump. It discusses the social issues that were present during each presidency and her role in each issue as one who has dedicated her life to advocating for the least among us through local, state, national, and international organizations with whom she has worked. Each section starts with a biblical quotation that provides a biblical lens through which that section should be viewed. Throughout the book, Elenora provides insight into what it is like to be an African-American woman in the United States with all of its racism and sexism.

I am pleased and proud to write this review on Elenora’s memoir as we were colleagues in ministry within the PC (U.S.A.) for years. I can attest to the fact that as a staff member in the Washington Office of the Presbyterian Church in its several incarnations, she was often the lightning rod, especially during the time when a pre-Trumpian- conservative faction existed within the denomination. Elenora will give a presentation of her book during the meeting of the African-American History Club in Encore Theater on January 3 at 2:00pm.

This book is available from Amazon in paperback for $14.95 and in Kindle for $9.95. It would make a great discussion starter for an adult study group or a great gift for individuals interested in social justice.

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