Retired history teacher shares her account of the 1970s

Retired history teacher shares her account of the 1970s

Sometimes the story you look to find is your own.

That’s what Co-Op City resident, Linda Powell has done in her new memoir ‘Resilience: We Don’t Stop.’

The inspiration for Powell’s book came several years ago when Powell began to share her story with others and realized she had been resilient through all the adversity she faced in her life.

The project was initially started in 2005. But further inspiration to finish the book came to Powell in 2012 when she started to research her family ancestry and found pictures of relatives as far back as the late 1800s.

“I constructed my family tree and put their pictures on the tree and as I put my own (picture) and my relatives’ today I said, “this is going to be recorded in history on the internet,” Powell, who has lived in the Bronx since 1970, recalled. “Years from now someone may look at the family tree and wonder what was my story.”

Powell’s story, in the memoir, begins when she was abducted as a child.

The heavy hitting start gives way to a variety of topics and first person accounts ranging from the birth of hip-hop and the rise of the crack cocaine epidemic in the Bronx to domestic abuse and sexual harrassment.

Now as a retired New York City public school history teacher, Powell used her love of history to re-tell a story through time.

“I know this book can incite certain controversies. I’m hoping that it spurs (discussion on) certain topics,” Powell explained. “One of them is in the news right now, sexual violence… I feel that my book was released at this moment in time because it goes hand in hand with what’s going on in the culture right now and what’s going on in society and it’s been long overdue that these topics be addressed.”

Though the book mostly recounts Powell’s life, it also discusses key turning points in U.S. history from the 1970s to the early 2000s and how they affected the Bronx.

Powell’s memoir was not only intended to be an account of her life story living in the Bronx, but also a narrative of the baby boomer generation and the history they lived through.

“We didn’t stop the Bronx from bouncing back from the rubble that it was in during the ‘70s. It’s been revitalized and is now a beautiful place to live…. it’s come back and I, myself, have come back. We don’t stop. Because yes we may encounter adversity, yes we sit down and cry and lick your wounds, but we gotta keep moving and keep going. Trouble doesn’t last always.”

‘Resilience: We Don’t Stop’ is on sale now and can be purchased on Amazon.

Readers can expect another book from Powell in the near future, though she has not released a time frame.

Powell mentioned the book is more of a historical fiction novel as opposed to a memoir.

Reach Reporter Sarah Valenzuela at (718) 260-4584. E-mail her at

More from Around NYC