Black White and Jewish
Autobiography's are interesting books for many reasons. First of all, it is like looking in someones closet which is always fascinating. Reading about someone else's life and experiences is interesting. But I do always keep in mind what one person recalls about their life isn't always what the other people who were part of the party remember. Case and point with James Frey's book and others autobiographys that have reached the shelf. When 2 people are having a fight, there are always 3 sides to the story. One persons side, the other persons side and the real truth. Yet at the end of the day, our own personal perspective of what happened to each of us growing up is all that counts.
With all that being said, I really found Black White and Jewish to be really thought provoking. Rebecca Walker was born in the late 60's to a white Jewish civil rights lawyer dad and a black (soon to be famous writer ) mother. The marriage which had all the trapping of the times and desires for change, didn't last. Rebecca was the product of that marriage. Although black in appearance, she was always white and Jewish in her head maybe more so.
Her parents, who went their own separate ways, decided to send Rebecca to live with each of them in 2 year intervals. At her father's home, she was living in a predominantly white community and while at her mothers, she was living in a predominantly black community. She was accepted readily into the black community but not so easily in the white community. She was going back and forth between two worlds and had a very difficult time searching for her own identity.
As an adult, there is no doubt that she has probably found her sense of self as she is an incredibly accomplished writer. I would be surprised if many scars didn't remain from reading about her anger towards both her parents as she tried desperately to fit in somewhere.
At our kids school, there are more than a handful of kids from mixed racial marriages and each of those kids, one in particular, has found a real comfort level and sense of self in this community. Also, in the world that we now live in, it is much different from the world that Rebecca Walker grew up in. Even President Obama had a white mother and black father yet he was raised by the white mother, he ended up marrying a black woman. Perhaps because of the color of his skin, he identified more with marrying a black woman.
Certainly we have come a long way of accepting people for who they are inside not outside but I would hope that other people do not have to find themselves searching so hard to feel comfortable in their own skin as Rebecca Walker did. A worthy read.