Diallo, mother of the West African man slain by New York police in a barrage of bullets in 1999, offers a powerful story of her life and that of her son. Diallo was a driven young Guinean woman in a traditional culture that demands the obedience and submission of women. At 13 she was given away in marriage to a businessman who promised to continue her education. But she found herself isolated from her family, giving birth at 16 to her first child, Amadou. She recounts the rocky years of her marriage, spent traveling through Africa and Asia, driven away by political instability and her husband's business pursuits. She eventually established herself as a gem merchant in Thailand and raised her children there. Amadou, born with an old soul, grows into a gentle, introspective young man, who realizes his fascination with America by moving to New York at the age of 20. Diallo recalls the last days of her son's life and the horrifying shooting by New York police that led to her crusade to promote racial healing.