Black White and Jewish

Rebecca Walker


The Civil Rights movement brought author Alice Walker and lawyer Mel Leventhal together, and in 1969 their daughter, Rebecca, was born. Some saw this unusual copper-colored girl as an outrage or an oddity: others viewed her as a symbol of harmony, a triumph of love over hate. But after her parents divorced, leaving her lonely only child ferrying between two worlds that only seemed to grow further apart, Rebecca was no longer sure what she represented. In this book, Rebecca Leventhal Walker attempts to define herself as a soul instead of a symbol and offers a new look at the challenge of personal identity, in a story at once strikingly unique and truly universal.

Author's Purpose

The purpose of this book is to tell readers the struggles she went through when she was younger, how the divorce of her parents affect her and how kids in school bullied her for "pretending" to be someone else. She couldn't decided if she was Black or Jewish. I don't think the purpose of this book was to entertain readers I feel like it was just to explain what people in a different race go through when others see them differently.


"Bethany gets come here, and I get what the f*** you looking at morena?"

"I'm the one in the Langston Hughes poem with the white daddy and the black mama who doesn't know where she'll rest her head when she's dead: the colored buryin' ground behind the chapel or the white man's cemetery behind gates on the hill."

Passage 1

"I start to remember in shards, pieces of glass that rip my skin and leave marks. I find tight little cuts all over: one on my left breast, grazing the nipple, and one that starts just below my left eyebrow and runs across my nose to the light brown line of my upper lip."

Passage 2

"By the time they fall in love, my parents do not believe in the uber-sanctity of family. They do not believe that blood must necessarily be thicker than water, because water is what they are to each other, and they will be together despite the objection of blood. In 1967, when my parents break all the rules and marry against laws that say they can't, they say that an individual should not be bound to the wishes of their family, race, state, or country. They say that love is the tie that binds, and not blood."


I would give this book a 4. It talks about how the author feels and how things are when parents divorced.

What surprised me the most?

"I like the color of Malaika's body, I like how brown she is, like Mama. When I look at her I feel the deep brown of her skin pour into me through my eyes and fill me up in a place that feels cold and empty, a place that I forget I have until I look at her naked body. On nights when I can convince her, Malaika plays Daddy and I play Mommy. I want to be the one who is touched more, the one who is done to, the one who is told what to do. Some nights we play with one of my father's old leather belts. I like the sound of it slapping my skin, the warm heat I feel when Malaika hits me, when Malaika plays Daddy."