Wednesday 28 March 2018

From Liberty To Magnolia by Janice S Ellis + Giveaway

From Liberty to Magnolia: In Search of the American Dream by Janice S. Ellis

Category: Adult NonFiction, 412 pages
Genre: Memoir
Publisher: Christian Faith Publishing
Release date: February 1, 2018
Tour dates: March 19 to 30, 2018
Content Rating: G (No sex scenes and no obscenity)

One of my 2018 IndieAthon Reads
One of my 2018 Take Control of Your TBR Pile Challenge reads

Where to buy this book:

Add From Liberty To Magnolia to your Goodreads

How I got this book:
Received a review copy via iRead Book Tours

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

From Liberty to Magnolia: In Search of the American Dream vividly recounts the journey of an African-American woman from rural, segregated Mississippi through academia, corporate America, and politics. It is the story of how she triumphed even when, more often than not, the ugly realities of racism and sexism tried to deter her.

This book tells the broader story, too, of how her life epitomizes what the Civil Rights Act and Equal Rights Amendment have meant and have not meant for blacks and women as she has lived through their maturation during the last 50 years. What better time than now to examine how these two seminal and defining events played out in the life of an ordinary African-American woman who believed in all of America s promises?

What better moment than today to look deeply at the life of a woman who prepared herself and worked tirelessly to achieve her goals only to realize that many lay beyond her reach and that of most women and most blacks. From Liberty to Magnolia shows readers, especially aspiring women and minorities with whom her story will have special resonance how to navigate and ultimately embrace the challenges at every major crossroads and be triumphant.

A Discussion Guide is included for use by book clubs, classes, and group discussions.

To read further reviews, please visit Janice S. Ellis's page on iRead Book Tours.
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 be reminded just how little progress had been made in black people's rights in over half a century. Ellis discusses the ongoing sharecropping labour system that Du Bois had witnessed beginning in the years immediately following American slavery's abolition. Du Bois also wrote of the debate over whether black people should be educated and to what level. Ellis demonstrates how such regressive attitudes were still very much in practice in the 1960s when even one of her college tutors made it painfully obvious that he didn't believe she should be in his class - and not because of a lack of intellectual ability either!

Reading of Ellis's fights to be taken seriously academically, professionally and even in her personal life allowed me to think over the opportunities I have had - and sometimes squandered - in my life. She writes in a very engaging way and I felt like she genuinely spoke to me through the pages of this book. Ellis shows that it is possible for courageous and single-minded people to break through social barriers of race or gender, but I found it saddening that it is still so very difficult. It is important that women such as Janice Ellis have the opportunity to tell their stories of breaking the mould, and that their efforts are widely recognised. From Liberty To Magnolia is well-written and, I think, would be appreciated by readers worldwide. Many of Ellis's struggles are not specific to America so she should (and hopefully will) be an inspiration to young women everywhere.

About the Author:

Janice Ellis, Ph.D., has been an executive throughout her career, first in government, then in a large pharmaceutical company, later as President and CEO of her own marketing firm, and finally as President and CEO of a bi-state non-profit child advocacy agency. Along with those positions, she has been writing columns for four decades on race, politics, education, and other social issues. They have appeared in a major metropolitan daily newspaper, The Kansas City Star; a major metropolitan business journal, The Milwaukee Business Journal; and for community newspapers The Milwaukee Courier, The Kansas City Globe, and The Kansas City Call. She began her career writing and delivering radio commentary for two years for one of the largest ABC radio affiliates in Wisconsin. Later in her career, she wrote and delivered a two-minute spot on the two largest Arbitron-rated radio stations in the Greater Kansas City area. She has also written for several national trade publications, focusing on healthcare and the pharmaceutical industry.

Dr. Ellis published an online magazine,, for seven years dedicated to increasing understanding across race and ethnicity, in which she analyzed race and equality issues in America. The website continues to attract thousands of visitors per year. The site also has a vibrant Facebook page with fans numbering in the thousands. Five years ago, Dr. Ellis launched a companion site,, which aggregates news about race relations, racism, and discrimination from across the United States and around the world daily. Dr. Ellis also has her own website,, which houses a collection of her writings and where she continues to write about race inequality, gender inequality, politics, education, and other issues related to the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Janice Ellis, a native daughter of Mississippi, grew up and came of age during the height of the Civil Rights Movement during the 1960s. 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 seeking to exercise the right to vote along with other rights and privileges afforded to whites. The second was her love of books, the power of words, and her exposure to renowned columnists, Eric Sevareid and Walter Lippmann, whose work solidified her belief that the wise use of words is what advances the good society.

Janice Ellis became determined to take a stand, and not accept and allow the conditions of that farm life, or the strictures of oppressive racial segregation and entrenched sexism limit what she could become. She became determined to use whatever talents God had blessed her with and the power of words to help improve the human condition. FROM LIBERTY TO MAGNOLIA is her first book.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

Enter the Giveaway!
Win a paperback copy of From Liberty to Magnolia by Janice S. Ellis (open to USA only / 1 winner)
Ends April 7, 2018

Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Janice S Ellis / Biography and memoir / Books from America


  1. This sounds absolutely amazing! Too bad the giveaway is US only. I love books like that!

    1. It is a shame as I think you would like this book. Janice is such a determined woman, but vulnerable too. I really appreciated getting the opportunity to learn about her life.