Black, White and Jewish: Autobiography of a Shifting Self

Black, White and Jewish: Autobiography of a Shifting
Self

The current issue of Multi-Racial Activist
features an excerpt from Rebecca Walker’S new book, Black, White
and Jewish: Autobiography of Shifting Self.
Through personal
stories of growing up with a black mother and a white, Jewish
father, Walker probes the confusing nature and construction of
racial identity in the United States.

From her 1969 birth to civil rights lawyer Mel Leventhal and writer
Alice Walker in Jackson, Mississippi, to her first years in
college, Rebecca Walker chronicles her unique experience. Deftly
and dramatically, she recalls those years, punctuated by recurring
threats from the Ku Klux Klan, visits from a Jewish grandma from
Brooklyn, slurs for being Black, mixed or Jewish, and special
treatment in school for her light complexion. But behind this outer
confusion was Walker’s backbone: two loving parents, united in 1967
despite the glaring taboo of interracial marriage. ‘In a photograph
from their wedding day,’ Walker writes, ‘they stand, brown and pale
pink, inseparable, my mother’s tiny five-foot-one-inch frame
nestled birdlike within my father’s protective embrace. Fearless,
naive, breathtaking, they profess their shiny, outlaw love for all
the world to see.’

Walker proudly writes, ‘I am not a bastard, the product of a rape,
the child of some white devil. I am a Movement Child.’

The Multi-Racial Activist website itself provides a
fascinating look at the changing notion of race in America as less
and less folks can (or want) to check off only one ‘race’ on the
census form. The MRA advocates the dissolution of race as a
legitimate category, calling for the ‘abolition of the divisive,
unconstitutional categories…[which] breed racism instead of
fighting racism.’ Without race, these new abolitionists say, there
can be no racism.

Other actions the politically libertarian MRA supports include
transracial adoptions, the resignation of Senator Trent Lott (for
supposed consorts with racist organizations), fighting hatred no
matter the color of the source, and dissolving what they call the
‘One-Drop Mythology,’ which they contend feeds racial
conflict.
–Amanda
Luker
Go there>>

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