PHD to Ph.D.

Addicted to drugs, abusive controlling pimps, the streets, short stints in jail, the cycle of death that was her life, and on top of that, pregnant AGAIN.  It was the end. The only way out was death or prison, but that wasn’t her fate.  Instead, she went to school… and never stopped.  On her journey, she became empowered with knowledge of her culture and history. Today, Dr. Elaine Richardson shares her story of sexual exploitation and other forms of bondage to promote healing and empowerment through education.


“When you know who you are, no one can define or control you. Find yourself.”

Read about her inspirational life in PHD (Po H# on Dope) to Ph.D.: How Education Saved My Life by Elaine Richardson, Ph.D.

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There was a time when Elaine Richardson was one of ‘…the Negroes everybody pointed to as the Negroes you didn’t want to become.’ The title of this book is no metaphor or allusion, but  literal shorthand for a remarkable, unpredictable journey. She inherits a plain way of talking about horrific pain from a mother who seemed impossible to shock. The way too fast way she grew up was and is too common, but her will to remap her destiny is uncommon indeed. To call her story inspiring would be itself too plain a thing, hers is a heroic life.

–dream hampton, writer and filmmaker