Gail Milissa Grant

Author – Blogger – Public Speaker

Gail Milissa Grant was born in St. Louis, Missouri at the cusp of the modern civil rights movement. She is currently a writer and public speaker, based in Rome, Italy. Her first book, At the Elbows of My Elders: One Family’s Journey Toward Civil Rights, won the Benjamin Franklin Book of the Year 2009 for autobiography/memoir ( and also received an Award of Merit from the American Association for State and Local History in 2010 ( 

A brief description follows:

Black families throughout the United States fought segregation for decades before the modern civil rights movement of the 1950s. In this memoir, Ms. Grant draws back the curtain on those times and presents touching vignettes of a life most Americans know nothing about. She recounts the battles fought by her father and his colleagues in St. Louis, Missouri and describes the challenges she faced in navigating her way through institutions marked by racial prejudice. Through one courageous act after another, these early civil rights crusaders crippled Jim Crow and set in motion a social movement without end.  

Ms. Grant has presented her book and lectured on civil rights history at over eighty venues, including Oxford University (the African and Caribbean Society), Columbia University, New York University, Mohammed V University (Morocco), the Smithsonian Institute, and numerous US embassies throughout Europe.

Her past careers include diplomacy and university teaching (art and architectural history) at Howard University in Washington, DC. As a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Information Agency and the U.S. State Department, she was assigned to Norway, France and Brazil, and did extensive press advance work for three U.S. presidents on four continents.  

Gail was largely educated in her hometown and currently lives in Rome, Italy with her husband, artist and set designer Gaetano Castelli. 

For a 90 second snapshot of her book, please follow this link: