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CSU alumna Elaine ‘Dr. E’ Richardson booked for special Black History Month show

Before she found her niche in academia, Elaine “Dr. E” Richardson learned some hard life lessons on the streets of Cleveland.

She’ll recount her personal journey in “PHD to Ph.D.: How Education Saved My Life,” a one-woman show set for 7 p.m. Thursday, February 27, at Cleveland State University’s Drinko Recital Hall.

“The message is not to give up on yourself,” said Dr. Richardson, a professor of literacy studies at the Ohio State University.

“A lot of people get written off,” she told ENGAGED. “I was one of them. But if you still have a mind, you still have a chance to make something out of your life.”

“PHD to Ph.D.” combines monologues and musical performances by the multitalented Dr. Richardson. It’s based on her gritty memoir of the same title, which chronicles how she put a dead-end existence of prostitution and drug addiction behind her to pursue a doctorate in English and applied linguistics.

Her appearance here will be a homecoming for Dr. Richardson, who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English from CSU in the early 1990s.

“My journey to becoming a scholar really began there,” she said. “When I got off the streets, so many people at Cleveland State University cared about me. They were there for me.”

“PHD to Ph.D.” is free and open to the public. The show is presented by the Department of English, the Women’s Studies Program and the Black Studies Program at CSU. For more information, call 216-687-3951.

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