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S A T U R D A Y

When Gloria Wade-Gayles used to complain to her grandmother about humiliations experienced at the hands of white racists in pre-civil-rights-era Memphis, her grandmother would respond, “They don’t know it, but they’re pushing you back to us, where you can get strong, get some strength.” The us referred to a black community that, unlike contemporary ones, instilled values and a sense of dignity that guided the young through minefields of racism. In her new collection of essays, Pushed Back to Strength: A Black Woman’s Journey Home, Wade-Gayles chronicles her journey from the housing projects of Memphis to activism in the civil rights movement and, later, to life as an academic. She reads at 1 p.m. at Vertigo Books, 1337 Connecticut Ave. NW. FREE. (202) 429-9272. (Phyllis Croom)