In 1954, Condoleezza Rice was born in Birmingham, Alabama, a city that Martin Luther King called the “most segregated city in America” in 1963. Rice’s middle-class, college-educated parents instilled in their only child a sense that she could do anything if she put her mind to it, but that she would have to make sure that she was “twice as good” as whites in all her achievements. Rice became an accomplished pianist, student, and ice skater before heading to college and graduate school at the University of Denver. Along the way, she made connections with powerful statesmen, paving the way for her later career of “firsts” in politics. She was the first female provost at Stanford University in California, the first black female national security advisor, and the first black female secretary of state. Condoleezza Rice: Stateswoman tells her life story, one of perseverance and the pursuit of excellence.