Political scientist, diplomat, academic, and accomplished cellist Dr. Condoleezza Rice is an amazing woman who has been a powerful force in foreign policy and academia for decades. I’ve admired her rise to National Security Advisor then Secretary of State. I respect her pragmatism, but disagree with many of her political views. So I thought I would share the ten questions I’d ask her.
1. What’s up with Birmingham, AL and black women?
Academic and activist Angela Davis (b. 1944) completed two years of graduate work in philosophy at the University of Frankfurt for two years. Then there’s poet Sonia Sanchez, author Margaret Walker, actress and singer Nell Carter, and you, of course.
2. What was it like to grow up under terrorism? Did you ever suffer from survivor’s guilt?
In 1963, when you were nine years old, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson and Addie Mae Collins (14 years old) and Denise McNair (11-years-old) were killed when the 16th Street Baptist Church, a civil rights stronghold, was bombed. Four years later, your parents moved your family to Denver, CO.
3. You’ve been a surprisingly staunch advocate of women’s rights. What is the way forward for women’s political leadership?
Your participation in Miss Representation (2011) and Makers (http://www.makers.com/condoleezza-rice) surprised some.
4. Why did you publicly criticize Colin Powell with respect to affirmative action?
5. What’s it like to create your own affirmative action plan (i.e., the Bush family)?
6. What do you think about the Republican party today as opposed to when you shifted from the Democratic party?
7. Why didn’t the NFL thing happen?
8. What do you look for in a mentee?
9. You’ve often invoked this phrase, “history will judge us.” What if history judges that you were wrong, in whole or in part?
10. What’s the most personal impact that you have made thus far in your career?
Extra credit: What was it like to grow up with an-only-from-a-black-family name?