Meritt-Gordon and Grosscup – Tell Them What You Want

About the Book

Tell Them What You Want is an inspirational coming of age story of an African-American girl (Bernie) growing up amidst the immense local and national social turmoil of the 1950s to mid 1980s. Her journey begins in an abusive stepfather’s ‘devil house’ and ends in personal and professional triumphs that seemed destined to be out of reach. Sent as a ‘State kid’ to a South-west Ohio college town, Bernie confronts both personal and institutional obstacles with youthful naivety and determination. A teen-age mother intent on protecting self and son, Bernie encounters many interesting and provocative people, some who put financial, educational, physical and social obstacles in her way. Others mentor her through the racism, sexism, and politics of the time. A combination of drama and humor, Tell Them What You Want is a story of losing and finding family, of relationships good and bad, acts of heroism large and small, and finally of an adult woman’s commitment to a future of protecting the little girl inside her who simply won’t let go.

About the Authors

Laverne Merritt-Gordon was born in 1946 in Lincoln Heights Ohio. One of sixteen children, she lived in New Miami Ohio until at age six the ‘State’ sent her to live in Oxford Ohio. She holds a diploma from Talawanda High School, A Bachelor of Science from Miami University, and Masters of Science from Purdue University. Retired from a career in Health Science, Laverne lives in Jacksonville Florida with her husband, Denman P. Gordon, where she is active in Florida’s Democratic Party politics and dedicated to her sons, grand and great-grand children. Tell Them What You Want is Laverne Merritt-Gordon’s first book.

Dr. Beau Grosscup grew up in Oxford Ohio and is Professor Emeritus, Department of Political Science, California State University, Chico. He lives in the Sierra Nevada foothills on Rancho4heavenseko with his partner, the lovely Rose Ann York. Tell Them What You Want is his fifth book.

How Do I Buy the Book?

Libraries and Bookstores

Our books may be purchased in bulk for promotional, educational or business use by libraries, bookstores, and other institutions. Please use our online order form to purchase books at a 50% discount from the retail price (no discount for Kindle versions). All other customers, please use the links below.

Students and Faculty

If you are a student or faculty, please send us a note via the Contact page to get the book at a 20% discount. You can also use the Add-to Cart-button below and apply the discount at checkout using the following code (valid through Black History Month until 29 February 2024): 2024EDU20

If you want to support Culicidae Architectural Press, click the Add to Cart button below to purchase the book directly from us (we prefer that!).

Paperback (US$17.95)

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Hardcover (US$29.95)

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Book Details

Publisher : Culicidae Press (March 28, 2021)
Language : English
Paperback : 224 pages
ASIN : B091BJK534 (Kindle)
ISBN : 978-1683150244 (paperback)
ISBN : 978-1683150275 (hardcover)
Item Weight : 10.7 ounces
Dimensions : 6 x 0.51 x 9 inches

What Others Think About the Book

Tell Them What You Want is a must-read. It’s filled with endurance, struggles, self-motivation, willpower, and achieving at all costs. These are just a few ways to describe Laverne’s journey in life.
If you are struggling with moving forward with your dreams and are willing to read, see and hear with an open heart and mind, this book will inspire you to take a yes-I-can approach to your future.

Helen Rogers

Book Events

Laverne Merritt-Gordon and Beau Grosscup gave a virtual lecture at Miami University Libraries titled White on Black in Camelot that addressed the challenges the author of Tell Them What You Want encountered and overcame between the 1950s and the mid 1980s in Oxford, Ohio.

Sample Pages

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