Black News, Entertainment, Style and Culture - HuffPost Black Voices
iOS app Android app More
April 19, 2014

Governor Expands Voting Rights For Convicted Felons

Mcauliffe
Drew Angerer via Getty Images

Everything You Need To Know About Why We Celebrate Weed On 4/20

Snoop Lion Marijuana
Seth McConnell via Getty Images

UMass Basketball Player On Feeling 'Ecstatic' After Coming Out And Jason Collins' Influence

Derrick Gordon
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Frat Shut Down After Members Tied Noose To Desegregation Statue

13-Year-Old Boy Shot In The Head Has Words That Will Inspire The World

Gama Droiville
ABC7

New York Political Leader Dies

Basil Paterson
ASSOCIATED PRESS

We've All Seen These Iconic Photos. Here's The Remarkable Footage That Brings Them To Life.

Black History Month

University Of Michigan's Black Student Union Scores A Win

Black Student Union
U of M Black Student Union

7 Lies We Need To Stop Telling About Young African-American Men

Kwasi
William Floyd School District

CBO Report Finds Obama Budget Will Result In Larger Deficits Than Claimed

Barack Obama
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Meet The Preacher Behind Moral Mondays

Reverend William Barber Ii
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Half Of Americans Support Stricter Gun Laws, But Many Question Their Effectiveness

Gun
PM Images via Getty Images

How Segregation Has Crept Back Into U.S. Schools

51952105
STAFF via Getty Images

Even Babies Can Be Racially Biased

Two Multiracial Babies
JGI/Jamie Grill via Getty Images

Majority Of Americans Don't See Obama As Black

Obama Race
YURI GRIPAS via Getty Images

Blogger's Death Highlights Need To 'Redefine What Strong Is' In Black Community

Karyn Washington
For Brown Girls

WATCH
Bicyclist's Beating Caught On Helmet Cam

Beating
YouTube

Pressure Mounts To Investigate NYPD Killing Of Unarmed Black Teen

Ramarley Graham
Twitter/ChangeTheNYPD

Follow HuffPost

    1. HuffPost
    2. Black Voices
    1. HuffPost
    2. Black Voices
    1. Most Popular on HuffPost
    2. Latest News
    3. Black Voices
    4. View all RSS feeds

We Are NOT Happy About This

Scandal Finale
ABC

That Time He Got Kicked Out Of Prince's House

Tracy Morgan Prince
TBS

Greta Gerwig And Danielle Brooks On What Still Needs To Change For Women In Entertainment

Greta Gerwig Danielle Brooks
Astrid Stawiarz via Getty Images

We Can't Wait To See THIS Movie

Belle
Fox Searchlight

Once You Go Black...

Halle Berry And Olivier Martinez
Steve Granitz via Getty Images

Controversial 'Human Zoo' Will Be Reenacted 100 Years Later As Art

Village
YouTube

'The Boondocks' Is Back!

The Boondocks
Cartoon Network

That Is One Fabulous Mugshot

Porsha Williams
Fulton County Sheriff's Office

Columbus Short In His Own Scandal After Allegedly Threatening To Kill Wife

Columbus Short Wife
Jason LaVeris via Getty Images

This 'Partition' Parody Is The Best Thing We've Seen All Day

Tuition Student Loan Beyonce Partition Parody
YouTube/Chanel Carroll

Proof That 'Brown Girls Do Ballet' Too

Black Ballerinas
BrownGirlsDoBallet Instagram

Why Filmmakers Chose Nas' 'Illmatic' Over Other Classic Albums

Nas Time Is Illmatic
Theo Wargo via Getty Images

Aasif Mandvi Reflects Upon The Time A Republican Said The N-Word On TV

Aasif Mandvi Republican N Word
Comedy Central

Alice Walker's Estranged Daughter Makes Startling Revelations About 'Color Purple' Author

Comments (138)


It's hard following in the footsteps of your mother, especially when she's Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker.

For 40-year-old author Rebecca Walker, having a famous mother has been anything but easy, and she's opening up about just how her difficult life was.

"I very nearly missed out on becoming a mother – thanks to being brought up by a rabid feminist who thought motherhood was about the worst thing that could happen to a woman," she revealed to British newspaper Daily Mail.

"My mom taught me that children enslave women," she continued. "I grew up believing that children are millstones around your neck, and the idea that motherhood can make you blissfully happy is a complete fairytale."

These days, the Yale graduate (born Rebecca Leventhal) is the proud mother of a 3-year-old son named Tenzin with her partner, Glen. Yet, she holds 'The Color Purple' novelist responsible for much of her hardships growing up and is working hard at being a totally different type of mother.

"Ironically, my mother regards herself as a hugely maternal woman. Believing that women are suppressed, she has campaigned for their rights around the world," she noted.

"But while she has taken care of daughters all over the world and is hugely revered for her public work and service, my childhood tells a very different story. I came very low down in her priorities -- after work, political integrity, self-fulfillment, friendships, spiritual life, fame and travel."

Following in her mother's footsteps, the biracial Mississippi native devoted a great deal of her life to upholding feminist principles.

She co-founded a nonprofit, Third Wave Foundation, to encourage activism in young women and was recognized for her work signing up tens of thousands of young female voters by the National Association of University Women, the National Organization for Women and the League of Women Voters.

She was also a contributing editor to several notable publications, including Essence, Ms., Glamour, Interview, Vibe and Mademoiselle. Time magazine even chose her as one of its 50 Future Leaders of America.

For her mother, aside from writing the seminal novel, which spawned a classic film and a hit Broadway musical of the same name, the Georgia native has published poetry, novels and nonfiction works, in addition to being honored with the Radcliffe Institute Fellowship, the Merrill Fellowship, and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

The personal lives of mother and daughter mirror each other, too. For years Rebecca dated alternative-rock soul singer Meshell Ndegeocello, while her 66 year-old mother was rumored to be romantically involved with singer-songwriter Tracy Chapman.

Still, Rebecca believes her mother was selfish, taking off in her teenager years for a two-month jaunt to Greece and leaving her with relatives. When she was younger, Rebecca says, her mother forbade her from playing with dolls.

"A good mother is attentive, sets boundaries and makes the world safe for her child. But my mother did none of those things."

"I was 16 when I found a now-famous poem she wrote comparing me to various calamities that struck and impeded the lives of other women writers," Rebecca noted.

According to Rebecca, Alice called her a "delightful distraction, but a calamity nevertheless." It was something that she said was "a huge shock and very upsetting."

The two women were estranged after Rebecca's 2000 memoir, 'Black, White and Jewish: Autobiography of a Shifting Self' was released. Her mother was unhappy about some of her reflections in the tome.

Still, their communication did not cease until Rebecca became pregnant with her first child in 2004.

"I was at one of her homes, sitting, and told her my news and that I'd never been happier. She went very quiet. All she could say was that she was shocked. Then, she asked if I could check on her garden."

An e-mail correspondence followed between the two women after Alice became upset at an interview in which Rebecca mentioned that her parents did not protect or look out for her. Now, according to Rebecca, she's been cut out of her mother's will.

"She wrote me a letter saying that our relationship has been inconsequential for years, and that she is no longer interested in being my mother," Rebecca noted.

"I have since heard that my mother has cut me out of her will in favor of one of my cousins," she added. "I feel terribly sad – my mother is missing such a great opportunity to be close to her family, but I'm also relieved. Unlike most mothers, mine has never taken any pride in my achievements."

"I've done all I can to be a loyal, loving daughter, but I can no longer have this poisonous relationship destroy my life."

oKExp.start("bv-ent-the_wayward_kids_of_the_rich_and_famous");

Comments: (138)

Add a comment

Page 1 of 14

Add a Comment

Please keep your comments relevant to this blog entry. Email addresses are never displayed but they are required to confirm your comments. When you enter your name and email address, you'll be sent a link to confirm your comment, and a password. To leave another comment, just use that password."