Black, White, and Jewish: Autobiography of a Shifting Self
In a memoir about the power of race to share one's personal identity, the daughter of Jewish father and African-American mother recalls her confusing but ultimately rewarding life lived between two conflicting ethnic identities. When Mel Leventhal married Alice Walker during the civil rights movement in the late 1960s, his mother declared him dead and did not reconcile until after the birth of her first grandchild. After Mel and Alice divorced, their daughter, Rebecca, alternated homes every two years, spending time in Mississippi, Brooklyn, San Francisco's Haight Ashbury, Washington, D.C., the Bronx, and suburban Westchester. With each new place came a new identity and desperate attempts to fit in: as white or black, as Puerto Rican or Jewish, as a party girl, a fighter, or a lover. Confused, and mostly alone, she turned to sex, drugs, books, and a cast of dangerous and thrilling characters. Black, White, and Jewish is the story of a child's unique struggle for identity and home when nothing in her world told her who she was or where she belonged. Poetic reflections on memory, time, and identity punctuate this gritty exploration of race and sexuality. Rebecca Walker has taken up the lineage of her mother, Alice, whose last name she chose to carry, and has written a lucid and inventive memoir that marks the launch of a major new literary talent.
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The reception room, where my stepmother will pour Perriet-Jouet champagne for
her guests and where I will run to sneak and hide in the back staircase by the old
dumbwaiter that doesn't work, is none other than my mother's study. But now ...
Sitting with my stepmother on the plastic folding chairs facing the stage, I don't
see that if I want to be inside I must pay a price, like the teachers and all the other
girls. I don't understand that to be in this play I have to make myself smaller, tiny ...
My father and stepmother live just in Riverdale, but I live in Riverdale and the
Bronx. Riverdale to me means Nanny and the Liebermans and shopping down
on Johnson Avenue for challah for Friday-night dinner, to go with the chicken
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - Calavari - LibraryThing
Never before has a book so completely spoken to my heart. I originally found this last year when I was looking around for around for women's memoirs to be put into my Diverse Books Tag focused on that ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - purlewe - LibraryThing
I read this as part of the Free Library's immigrant stories collections. I enjoyed this.. even if it isnt your typical immigrant story. It is more of how she felt likea stranger no matter where she ... Read full review