Black, White, and Jewish: Autobiography of a Shifting Self

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Riverhead Books, 2001 - Social Science - 320 pages
178 Reviews
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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Review: Black White and Jewish

User Review  - Murat - Goodreads

The worst book I had read this year. I was affected by the titel of the book and wanted to read it. What I read was a girl whose life was boring and who considers being black as insulting and ... Read full review

Review: Black White and Jewish

User Review  - loafingcactus - Goodreads

I did not enjoy this book at all. I don't think there is anything wrong with it, but I'm not really into descriptive narrative (I rarely read fiction, for example) and this book is unbroken ... Read full review

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About the author (2001)

Rebecca Walker has received numerous awards and accolades for her writing and activism. Her memoir, "Black White and Jewish," is an international bestseller and her work has appeared in many anthologies and publications. Walker lectures extensively across the United States and Canada.

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