The complex story of a dynamic educator, Dr. Charlie Mae Knight, a woman and an African American, is interwoven with the Civil Rights Movement, women's history, and the foundations of educating children of color and children of poverty in the United States. Dr Knight's own impoverished childhood forged her determination to use education to escape the poverty and racism of the Deep South of the U.S. at mid-20th Century. She quickly learned that while she obtained an education, it was still limited in too many communities by the politics of poverty and racism--even in the West. Using her extraordinary personal charisma she tapped into the emerging financial capital of Silicon Valley of the 1960's to develop the social capital of the families in her community of East Palo Alto. In a highly politicized climate charged with greed, hostility and envy, Knight pursued the American dream for her community, often at the cost of social isolation, personal tragedy, and attempts to publicly discredit her in the mainstream media.