A Ph.D. for the PHD Cleveland Call and Post Book Review


A Ph.D. for the PHD is just what the doctor ordered
Local author launches life changing book
Kam Williams | 9/30/2013, 10:23 a.m.

Dr. Elaine Richardson pens life story in latest novel

Contributing Writer

Dr. Elaine Richardson encountered a host of horrors practically from birth. That’s because she was raised on a rough side of Cleveland in a seedy apartment where she recalls seeing a rat scamper across the floor as a toddler.

Growing up, she was teased mercilessly about both her lips and her weight by cruel kids in the neighborhood who called her everything from ‘liver lips’ to ‘rubber lips’ to ‘bubble lips’ to ‘chub’ to ‘fat girl.’ And soon after reaching puberty, she lost her virginity when she was raped while just in junior high school.

That sexual assault, which left the 13 year-old pregnant, was only the start of a deep descent into depravity that would be marked by pimps, prostitution, drug addiction, incarceration and single-motherhood. She eventually bottomed out but was able to turn her life around before her future was swallowed up by the streets entirely.

That admirable transformation is the subject of PHD to Ph.D., an inspirational autobiography chronicling Elaine’s very unlikely transformation from a self-described “Po Ho’ on Dope” to a Ph.D. and professor at Ohio State University. This heartbreaking cautionary tale is tailor-made for at-risk girls since the author recounts her tragic experiences in a gripping and graphic fashion which leaves little to the imagination.

Crediting God and her supportive mother for putting her on the road to recovery, Elaine nevertheless acknowledges that she’s still healing and learning to love herself after all the years of abuse. A remarkable memoir by a remarkable survivor who miraculously managed to beat the odds!