Rebecca Walker
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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

New York City

 
It was such an honor to appear on Good Morning America. The interview gave me a chance to reach a large audience to discuss some of the more relevant themes in the book, and to clarify my position regarding the more controversial aspects. It was also a lot of fun, and the hair and makeup team (thanks April and Kathleen!) taught me many new tricks. After the interview at ABC, I made my way down to Barnes & Noble in the heart of Chelsea. It was a wonderful crowd. My dad was there, and several dear friends, one of whom brought her beautiful little girl. There were many excellent questions from the audience and we discussed several important issues that the book raises. One was the mother-daughter relationship. Why is it that so many mother-daughter relationships are broken? I know very few women who have healthy relationships with their mothers.

I responded with what I've been thinking a lot about lately: this idea of sisterhood, and mothers and daughters being more like sisters or friends. Being "sisters" throws off the archetypal mother-daughter relationship. Daughters need mothers to be mothers: unconditionally loving, not competitive, etc. The role of a sister is more closely linked with friendship, which can sometimes turn into jealousy and rivalry. I think being more aware of these different models and paradigms may help mothers to form healthier relationships with their daughters. Finally, I am so appreciative of the people sharing their stories on this blog and elsewhere. We are engaging in an important dialogue. The participation, passion, and varied viewpoints are all important and add to the conversation.

Peace and Love, Rebecca.


 
 
 
Sunday, March 25, 2007

Book Tour Update

 
Hey everybody! Just finished up with Seattle and San Francisco and head out to New York in the morning. Seattle was super fantastico. I saw my old friends from Elliott Bay Books, Rick and Karen, and Warren Read, with whom I consulted on a manuscript that just sold (!!). The event was co-sponsored by Mavin, a resource group for multi-racial people, and though I thought it was going to be held at the groovy new Koolhaas library downtown, it was actually held an equally gorgeous newly renovated branch of the library called the Douglas Truth branch, named after Frederick Douglas and Sojourner Truth. I was happy to hear that when Seattle decided to spend millions on the new library, they committed to renovate libraries all over the city. Way to be civically responsible! Anyhoo, I read to the standing room only crowd and took lots of questions. Heard from at least one pregnant mom. It was really a lot of fun, and I want to thank everyone who came and made it possible, including my great media escort and playright, Rosalind.

San Francisco was also good. Spent the whole day yesterday at KPFA doing community radio. I was interviewed by at least four different people, including my dear friend Weyland, producer of Hard Knock Radio. We got lots of great calls from listeners, one of whom wanted to give love and thanks for spreading the word about ambivalence and motherhood and all the rest of it. Another who wanted to set up a reading in the East Bay because all of my readings were a little far out of town (thanks to the good booksellers at Keplers who gave me some Richard Scarry books for the baby, and the good people at Book Passage in Corte Madera, who gave me some great note cards with my name engraved on them. Perfect for thank you notes to all of you sending me such positive energy.) Lots of good dialogue happening because of the book, and I'm so proud it seems to be touching a nerve. I also had a much needed massage, which got me re-centered for the next leg, which includes Good Morning America! Stay tuned.

Peace and love,
Rebecca
 
 
 
Thursday, March 22, 2007

West Coast Book Tour

 
Portland was great! So nice to start the tour seeing familiar faces from Lewis and Clark, and even someone from my old high school in SF: The Urban School. I got to touch a pregnant mom's belly, and cheer on a gorgeous couple that just inseminated last night (encouraged to get to it by my talk last month). Also had a great conversation on KBOO with book club members, one of whom was the mother of five! I love how this book elicits birth stories and pregnancy narratives, and especially important discussions about how our culture can do more to support mothers, children and families.

For more info on that check out http://www.mothersmovement.com/ and http://www.momsrising.org/.

Can't wait to see who shows up in Seattle! Peace and love.
 
 
 
Tuesday, March 20, 2007

New York Times Clarification

 
I gather from some of the responses to the way I compare my relationship with my biological child to my relationship with the child I helped my ex-girlfriend to raise that I have been taken out of context. My situation is unique to my experience and it was this specific relationship that I describe in my memoir. I am sorry to have offended anyone, as it was not my intention.

However, I still do feel that this dialogue is important and worthwhile.
 
 
 
Monday, March 19, 2007

Celebrate your success, know that many cannot

 
I am sensitive to the fact that discussing the intimacy of family relationships can be very polarizing in our society. The strong feelings that arise are the evidence that this topic deserves attention, and so we must all make sure that as parents we are listening to our children. This includes inquiring with an open mind and an open heart in a way that can receive that which we may not want to hear. If we find that those whom we love the most are free from the difficulties that face many step and adoptive families, then celebrate the unique and positive accomplishment of having created healthy relationships that can endure throughout a lifetime. There is no harm in doing this.

At the same time I hope that everyone will consider that there are millions of people who cannot celebrate this accomplishment. I believe that they deserve to have a voice that stimulates dialogue about their situation. Remember that while many families may be doing well, there may be many more that are not. Responding negatively to the discourse of the issues of those families is exactly the kind of response that suppresses the voices of those who yearn to be heard. It is injurious to them in a way that compounds an already difficult situation.

Until we can think of the families who are struggling with these issues and wish for them the support, respect, openness, and caring that they deserve, books like Baby Love will continue to raise an extremely important dialogue that is good for individuals, families and our society. Please feel free to offer supportive advice and acknowledgment of the difficulties others may be enduring as a way of expressing the depth of your understanding, compassion and altruism.
 
 
 
Sunday, March 18, 2007

Danzy Senna Book Comments

 
"In Baby Love, Rebecca Walker has shone a bright light on the Ambivalent Generation --those of us raised to remain daughters rather than become mothers, to wonder rather than to know. Moving, wise, and deeply honest, Baby Love has illuminated a crucial question for our times."

Danzy Senna, author of Caucasia and Symptomatic, Whiting Award recipient.
 
 
 
Tuesday, March 13, 2007

NPR Podcast

 

Here's a podcast from last month that NPR recently posted on biracial children. Michel Martin interviewed me on my experiences and Black, White and Jewish and we also talked about Mixed, the anthology I just wrote the Foreword to, and, of course, Baby Love. Hopefully, this Mocha Moms podcast will become a regular NPR segment.

Take a listen and let me know what you think. I'd love to hear from other mothers exploring these issues.

 
 
 
Friday, March 09, 2007

Asha Bandele Blurb

 
"Those of us who have followed Rebecca Walker have come to expect a brilliant journey, one that locates the balance between reason and emotion, blood and sinew. Baby Love does not disappoint. Walker's offering does what all finely craft memoirs should: expose the experience of the writer but only to illumine the experience of the reader. As a daughter, but most of all as a mother I read this book and was transformed." --Asha Bandele

Nice, huh?

Asha Bandele is an editor at Essence Magazine as well as a Revson Fellow at Columbia University. She is author of one of my favorite memoirs, The Prisoner's Wife.
 
 
 
Thursday, March 08, 2007

Publisher's Weekly Book Review

 
Check out the Publisher's Weekly early review of Baby Love. It is currently up on Amazon.com, where the book can be pre-ordered. PW is an industry standard and these early words of support mean so much. Rebecca notes that she's very pleased.
 
 
 
Friday, March 02, 2007

Book Tour

 
Rebecca writes from the road:

"Welcome to everyone I met last week in California! With Baby Love coming out soon, the excitement is building and with the book release comes a book tour. If there is an event near you, please come out and see me. Posts will follow regarding engagements in cities across the country. If you need any more information about a particular location, visit the full list of book tour events. I want to see your beautiful faces and answer your questions, so put a Baby Love event on your calendar."
 
 
 


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