At the beginning, the future looked bright. Parker was raised in a nurturing, middle-class black community in Durham, North Carolina, where she spent her childhood surrounded by love and cloistered from overt racism. All that changed when her family moved north, certain that Gwen's sparkling intelligence would open any door. Her education in exclusion began at an upper-crust private school in Connecticut, where she was one of only two black faces. Later, at Radcliffe, she was again in a tiny minority. But these were the heady days of the black militant movement. Now, ironically, it was her black 'brothers and sisters' who insisted she define herself by her color. Yet her ideal remained a world united. It wasn't until she had become an attorney at an old-line Wall Street firm that Parker began to question her idealism. Her schooling had taught her to protect herself from insult and indignity with a hard shell; under the pressures at the firm, that shell began to crack. Despite outstanding work, she was often treated with outright disdain. 'Are you a lawyer?' she was continually asked by incredulous colleagues. 'No I'm a terrorist, ' she yearned to reply. After ten years of battling stereotypes as she climbed the corporate ladder, Parker abandoned that world and all in represented, forsaking power and prestige to follow her dreams. Trespassing is a memoir full of both outrage and regret, frank and unflinching but leavened with humor, compassion, and gratitude toward a black community that instilled lasting lessons in self-respect.