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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Mama has to have an operation on her eye. She leaves early one morning and
doesn't come home until late the next day. I wait, listening all afternoon for her
key in the lock. When the door finally swings open and I see the sleeve of her
... a tartan skirt and a military jacket and is so pale I can hardly recognize her and
probably wouldn't have if it weren't for her green eyes and long eyelashes. And
the way she walked that was so familiar to me, in those careful, fragile little steps.
At first I see nothing, but then I hear rustling and catch some movement out of the
corner of my eye. I start to make out forms in the trees and on the ground. When
my eyes adjust to the darkness I see dozens of tree monkeys. En masse they ...
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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