Linda Thomas-Greenfield grew up the oldest of eight children in a small segregated town outside of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. They were poor. Her father was not literate. Despite these circumstances, she became one of America’s top diplomats, having just left her post a few weeks ago as the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs.
Amb Thomas-Greenfield speaks candidly about the kinds of racial animus she faced growing up and in college at Louisiana State University. She tells how she first became interested in Africa and how her career as an Africa specialist evolved, including a formative stint as a diplomat in the small country of the Gambia.
(Stay for the discussion of the “Gumbo Diplomacy” she practiced as ambassador to Liberia when Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf won the Nobel Peace Prize!)