Black News, Entertainment, Style and Culture - HuffPost Black Voices
iOS app Android app More
December 21, 2014

Sony Hires Real-Life Olivia Pope

Judy Smith
Lisa Lake via Getty Images

Examining Vh1's 'Sorority Sisters': Now We're Mad?

Black Stereotypes
Jae Rew via Getty Images

Why The 'Redskins' Name Can't Be Separated From The Bigger Issues Native Americans Face

Redskins Protest
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Competing Protests For And Against Police Face Off In NYC

New York Protests
Spencer Platt via Getty Images

Michael Brown's Father: 'I'm Real Tired Of Our Kids Getting Misused And Abused'

Michael Brown
Michael McLaughlin/The Huffington Post
HuffPost Reports

Here's How A Former NBA Prospect Found Out His Career Was Over

Isaiah Austin
HuffPost Live

VIDEO: NYPD Plainclothes Cop Appears To Punch Restrained Teen

Coppunch
YouTube

Sony CEO Responds To Obama Comments

Michael Lynton
Ethan Miller via Getty Images

This Awesome Teen Wants To Be The Youngest Black Chess Grandmaster

Joshua Colas
Joshua Colas

Key Witness In Michael Brown Case May Not Have Actually Seen Him Die, Report Says

Darren Wilson
AP

Eric Holder On Racial Issues In America: 'We, As A Nation, Have Failed'

Eric Holder
Angelo Merendino via Getty Images

ACLU Lawsuit Says Ferguson School District Discriminates Against African-Americans

Ferguson Florissant
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Donations Pour Into Ferguson Church Destroyed In Protests

Flood Christian Church
Scott Olson via Getty Images

ACLU Files Complaint After School Bars Transgender Boy From Using Men's Bathroom

Grimm
WAVY-TV

Percent Of Americans Who View Racism As Top Problem Skyrockets

Ferguson Protests
Scott Olson via Getty Images

Lawyers Stage 'Die-Ins' To Call Out Broken Legal System

Lawyer Die In Los Angeles
ROBYN BECK via Getty Images

What Happens When We Send Minors To Adult Prisons

Black Jail
Dietmar Klement via Getty Images

Al Sharpton Calls For Action Against Sony Executive

Al Sharpton
Raymond Hall via Getty Images

Scott Walker Ready To Call In National Guard To Respond To Dontre Hamilton Protests

Scott Walker
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Obama Talks About His Own Experience With Racial Profiling

Barack And Michelle Obama
Kevin Mazur via Getty Images

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz Takes Powerful Step To Discuss Race With Employees

Starbucks
Zhang Peng via Getty Images

14-Year-Old Wrongly Convicted Of Murder Exonerated 70 Years Later

George Stinney
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Family Of North Carolina Teen Says He Was 'Lynched'

Lennon Lacy
The Washington Post via Getty Images

The Passing of Natural Hair Pioneer Titi Branch

Titi Branch
Getty

America's Oldest Black College Could Face Financial Collapse

College
Creatas Images via Getty Images

Jon Stewart Hits Back After Hannity Calls Jay Z A 'Crack Dealer'

Jon Stewart
Comedy Central

UPenn Fraternity Suspended For Using Beyonce Blow Up Doll In Photo

Blowupdoll
Phi Delta Theta

Obama Applauds LeBron James For Wearing 'I Can't Breathe' T-Shirt

Lebron James Obama
Mark Wilson via Getty Images

How Giving Cameras To Formerly Homeless Detroiters Also Gave Them A Voice

Lucretia Portrait
HuffPost

49ers Player 'Terminated' Amid Sexual Assault Investigation

Ray Mcdonald
Thearon W. Henderson via Getty Images

Cop Designs 'Breathe Easy, Don't Break The Law' T-Shirts

Breathe
Facebook: South Bend Uniform Co.

Hillary Clinton: 'Black Lives Matter'

Hillary Clinton
Kevin Mazur via Getty Images

An Open Letter to Penn's Phi Delta Theta Fraternity for Their 'Beyonce' Blow-Up Doll Holiday Card

Racism
chris2766 via Getty Images

U.S. Wealth Gap Hits Record High

Pew Research Center
Pew Research Center

Protester: We Can't Be Silent When Women Are Shot By Police

Aura Rosser
Aura Rosser

NFL Player Emotionally Explains Why He Won't Apologize For Protest

Andrew Hawkins
Joe Robbins via Getty Images

How School Suspensions Disproportionately Target Black Girls

Black Teens In Class
Weston Colton via Getty Images

FOLLOW HUFFPOST

    1. HuffPost
    2. Black Voices
    1. HuffPost
    2. Black Voices
    1. HuffPost
    2. Black Voices
    3. View all RSS feeds

Watch Darlene Love's Final 'Christmas' Performance On Letterman

Darlene Love David Letterman
CBS

Azealia Banks' Emotional Explanation For Her Problem With Iggy Azalea

Azealia Banks
Frank Hoensch via Getty Images

Meet The HuffPost Style Team!

Huffpost Style
Christina Emilie

Beyoncé & Jay Z Do Not Cameo In 'The Interview'

Beyonce Jay Z
ASSOCIATED PRESS

12 Gifts For Dad, The Most Impossible Person On Your Shopping List

Pizza Cone
Amazon

There's No One Reason To Dance. In Fact, Here Are 39 Of Them

Whyidance

The Incredible Christmas Oprah Will Never Forget

Own Oprah Where Are They Now Christmas Kindness
OWN

Jill Scott Set To Receive Major Honor

Jill Scott
Earl Gibson/BET via Getty Images

23 Beyoncé-Inspired Gifts To Make Your Home Look Flawless This Season

Flawless
AManicMonday/Etsy

'Shmoney Dance' Rapper Arrested

Bobby Shmurda
Mike Pont via Getty Images

Vivica Brings Hollywood Glam To The 'World's Leading Luxury Island Destination'

Vivica A Fox
Courtesy of The Britto Agency

The Impact Of 'Black Messiah' on R&B

Dangelo
Mark Metcalfe via Getty Images

NeNe Says No Atlanta Housewives Have Seen 'Cinderella': ‘The Hate Is Real'

Nene Leakes
HuffPost Live

Kendrick Lamar Debuts New Song On 'The Colbert Report'

Kendrick Lamar
NBC via Getty Images

Obama Names His Favorite Movie Of The Year

Obama Smiling
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Analyzing J. Cole's '2014 Forest Hills Drive' And His Place In Hip Hop

J Cole
Leon Bennett via Getty Images

Chris Brown's Bodyguard Sentenced For Assault

Chris Brown Bodyguard
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Model Says Bill Cosby Drugged Her And Licked Her Toes In 2008

Bill Cosby
ASSOCIATED PRESS

45 Fashion Gift Ideas Under $100

Fashion Gift Ideas
Boy Meets Girl/Misguided/Charm&Chain

'Selma' Star David Oyelowo: 'Eric Garner Became An American Problem'

David Oyelowo
Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

Watch Mashup Of Darlene Love Singing The Best Christmas Song

Darlene Love Letterman
CBS Photo Archive via Getty Images

Oprah And Jimmy Fallon Could Almost Make You Not Hate Auto-Tune

Fallon
NBC

Black Captain America Leading Comic Book Diversity

Isaiah Bradley
Marvel

Bill Cosby's Wife Breaks Silence On Sexual Assault Allegations

Camille Cosby
Bryan Bedder via Getty Images

Titi Branch, Miss Jessie's Co-Founder, Dead At 45

Titi Branch
Getty

Angela Davis Explains How The 'Prison Industrial Complex' Profits From Black People

Angela Davis
Keystone-France via Getty Images

PHOTO: 'Selma' New York Premiere And Afterparty

Selma After Party
Dave Allocca/Starpix

'Selma' Director Ava DuVernay Slams Racist Sony Emails As 'Sad'

Ava Duvernay
Jim Spellman via Getty Images

Oprah On Protests: 'Y'all Are Not The First To Do It '

Oprah Winfrey
Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

9 Reasons Why No One Compares To Figure Skater Surya Bonaly

Surya Bonaly
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Naomi And Jourdan Land Major Campaign

Burberry Campaign
© Copyright Burberry/Testino

Listen To D'Angelo's First Album In 14 Years

Dangelo Singer
Paul Natkin via Getty Images

This Roller Skating Man Just Elevated The Ring Bearer Game

Wedding Entrance
Steve Conway Photography/Instagram

BrotherSpeak: Exploring The Lives Of Black Men

Black Man Mouth
BananaStock via Getty Images

The Lack Of Black Emoji Has Sasheer Texting Some Strange Things

Sasheer Snl
NBC

'Selma' Cast Wears 'I Can't Breathe' Shirts At Premiere

I Cant Breathe
Ray Tamarra via Getty Images

The 22 Best Movies Of 2014

Best Movies 2014
Paramount/Sony/IFC/Fox/Disney

Mayweather Says He Wants To Fight Pacquiao, Finally

Mayweather Pacquiao
AFP via Getty Images

VIDEO
Raven-Symone Gives Mentor Debbie Allen A Heartfelt Surprise

Raven Symone Debbie Allen
AOL Originals

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 3 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."