Valerie Graves reflects on her prodigious journey from the projects of Michigan to the prestige of New York’s upper echelon as a high-powered advertising executive in a historically white and male arena.
In her memoir “Pressure Makes Diamonds—Becoming the Woman I Pretended to Be,” Valerie Graves has spun an appealing narrative with a protagonist who reads like an African-American female counterpart of Horatio Alger.
Our conversation with Valerie Graves, author of “Pressure Makes Diamonds: Becoming the Woman I Pretended to Be.
You may not know her name, but it’s a good bet you know her work.
Valerie Graves has worked in the creative departments at the nation’s leading advertising firms. She’s been creative director for top Fortune 500 accounts like General Motors, Ford, Burger King, AT&T, Pepsi and more.
Valerie Graves tells a compelling account of growing up black in Pontiac, Detroit. It is in the 1960s and against the backdrop of riots, looting, burning stores, and the timbre of black frustration, she manages to blossom.