Rebecca Walker


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Virginia Tech, U Penn and His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Hey everyone,

What a week. I was sitting in a hotel room a few hours before giving a talk at Penn when I heard the news about the shootings at Virginia Tech. I was immediately concerned about the students around the world who would have to go to classes suddenly unsure of their safety. For the first time in fifteen years of speaking at colleges, I felt fear myself and tried to think of ways to discuss the incident in a way that was helpful.

Amazingly, the students were not nearly as shaken as I was. Many had not even heard about the incident. Hard not to reflect on this generation. They have been through so much, and have had to keep going. Of course it is futile to generalize, and they don't seem numb, but a bit more pragmatic perhaps? Shocked by little? Not sure what the effect 9/11 would have had on me at 19 or 20, how that would have changed my view of the world.

I finally made it home, and was immediately brought into the whirlwind of welcoming His Holiness the Dalai Lama to the island for a teaching called World Peace: The Human Approach. Took the baby and listened to HHDL talk about building on natural human affection --which he discussed as biologically based and seen between most mothers and their children-- as a road to peace. Tomorrow he will speak on the Eight Verses for Training the Mind.

As I left the teaching sunburned but happy, I thought about how easy it is to dismiss points of view for any number of reasons. As a child of deconstruction there is always at least one thing I find problematic in any piece of art or culture I experience. But where does it end? When can we still appreciate something even though there are things about it we may not agree with? Don't we cheat ourselves of potentially transformative information by being so reactive and judgmental? Does that kind of response really help to solve the problems of discord between human beings?

Of course there is the Alec Baldwin tape and the Don Imus much to say there.
Anyway. More on this later.

Peace and love,
Saturday, April 14, 2007

Pensacola and LA

Hey everybody! I've just done two talks, a reading and four interviews down here in Pensacola, and it has been a fascinating, moving, inspiring experience. I've made new friends, Kimberly and Denise, and met some truly amazing individuals who came out to hear me and share time together at the Women's Expo.

I don't know if I can sum this one up in a few words.

Many of the people here are quite religious and deeply committed to Jesus Christ and his teachings; that they were open enough to come and hear me and to, some of them, come to me in tears from my talk, with hugs and invitations to dinner, was really a miracle. And I learned so much about the Pentecostal and Charismatic faiths!

One of the other groups that sponsored me was the Coalition of 100 Black Women- Pensacola chapter, and the beautiful women who came from that group embraced me and also diversified the whole event, another miracle. On top of all those miracles and all that love, they put me up in a gorgeous place overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. Yesterday the water was the most amazing blue-green, today is stormy and gray but beautiful just the same.

I miss the baby, but every day I get more letters from readers of Baby Love and they remind me of why I'm out here. Thank you!

I realize I haven't given you the LA update: It was great. I had a great time doing the KTLA morning show. We kibbitzed and one of the hosts had read Black, White and Jewish many years ago and talked during the segment about how much the book meant to her...I had a great escort, Lisa Becker, who had just been with Ayaan Hirsi Ali and said she was just wonderful, which I'm sure is true as her work and book are both so powerful and important. The booksellers in LA were amazing, too. At the Barnes and Noble in Santa Monica, I was showered with baby books for the baby, and at Vroman's I couldn't stop myself from buying a little Elmo and this incredible 3-D Frog book!

Okay so I'm pretty up to date, no? Tomorrow I go to Philadelpia again to speak at University of Pennsylvania. If you are around, come say hello.

Peace and love,
Thursday, April 12, 2007

Women's Expo

Pensacola, here I come! I'm still working on blog entries from Baby Love LA and Kahului, but in the meantime I'm hitting the road again to open and close the Gulf Coast Women’s Expo. This is a wonderful opportunity to discuss the important topics facing women (and men) today. The title of the opening talk I'm giving at the conference is "Today is the Tomorrow You Were Promised Yesterday." It's all about how to have hope for the future and what we can do to bring about positive change, both within ourselves and our communities.

The expo should be a really energizing experience and I’m looking forward to connecting with all the women "down south" working on the great balancing act of friends, family, self, and career. If you are in the Pensacola area this Friday or Saturday, please stop by and see me! I'll be looking for you. Peace and love. Rebecca
Monday, April 09, 2007

Book Tour Finale

Hey everyone! I'm finally home home home. So happy to see the baby and the rest of the tribe. It seems an eternity since I left for Portland, but it has only been two weeks. Incredible.

As I mentioned, Phoenix was great. The bookstore Changing Hands was an inspiration. An independent that is thriving, and full of books I want to read and beautiful objects I want to buy. Lots of wonderful people at the reading, asking great questions as usual. I met an architect from the South, a couple that had been at my reading in Portland five years ago for Black, White and Jewish, a precious mother-daughter team, two pregnant moms, a student of Chogyam Trungpa who studied at Naropa, and at least ten women who are on the fence about the whole pregnancy journey. I did some great TV in Phoenix, but my favorite was Pat McMahon, who had me on after a man with Concerned Citizens for Christ who, along with his wife, has made a personal crusade of challenging the Mormon church. It was a very dynamic segment! Phoenix was also notable for the totally swanky hotel I stayed at, the Mondrian Scottsdale, which had the best beauty products by Korres a natural product company in Greece. The small perks of being on the road: a tiny bottle of lemon basil shower gel and cold peanut M and M's in the mini-bar. Also: reading on the plane. I'm set to review When She Was White by Judith Stone for the Washington Post, so I started reading it on the way to LA, in between peanuts and a disco nap.

I will post about LA and Hawaii as soon as I catch my breath. Until then, thanks so much for all of the beautiful emails. I love hearing about you all reading the book on the subway, on the plane, in bed, on vacation, in the middle of the night, while nursing, during naptime, and on the way to work. Keep em coming! You give me hope.
Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Chicago Book Stop

This picture, from the reading at the wonderful bookstore Women and Children First, was sent in by Yanique--thanks! It was a great event. I got lots of questions about Buddhism (check my site for the article of Buddhism in the Black community with Lama Choyin Rangdrol) and balancing family and career. More on that to come, but in the meantime check out for a look at how some progressive parents are doing it. Other amazing sites for moms: and

In Phoenix I had great fun with TV host Pat McMahon and a super groovy time with the host of Arizona Midday, four months pregnant herself.

More from LA soon...

peace and love,
Monday, April 02, 2007

Baby Love on the Road

Philadelphia and Washington DC are a blur. I did lots of interviews: a popular morning TV show in DC on Fox, a bunch for NPR, a segment for PBS, and a very special one on one with Literary Mama, one of my favorite on-line mags. But the highlight was the readings. In Philly, my old friend and now lawyer Dacque Tirado from Freedom Summer made an appearance, a wonderfully well adjusted mother and daughter duo sat in the front row and asked very good questions,and a sister who had been very upset about the biological/non-biological discussion (and who wouldn't have come to see me if her friend hadn't dragged her), said she was so happy she came and heard my thoughts firsthand.

In DC my reading was in Tyson's corner, where an old friend from fourth grade magically appeared, along with a family of long lost relatives from my stepmother's family, one of whom was doing a skit for her class based on Black, White and Jewish the next day! I was very well taken care of by a super cool regional marketing director who had come to Border's from thirteen years at Tower Records. She fed me apple pie and some kind of cheese sandwich and just generally rocked!

I'm still amazed by all the stories I'm hearing. About miscarriages, ambivalent couples, adoption, infertility, loss, love, triplets, insemination, really is amazing how many of us are grappling in different ways with birth and parenthood. Very inspiring.

I've just wrapped Chicago, but that will have to come in another post.

Keep spreading the word about Baby Love, in all of its many forms! Thanks for all the positive energy. Now on day 10, I REALLY appreciate it.

Peace and love,

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