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Rebecca Walker

Rebecca Walker, Photo David Fenton, 2003
Born November 17, 1969
Jackson, Mississippi

Rebecca Walker (born November 17, 1969) is an American feminist and writer. She has been named by Time Magazine as one of the 50 future leaders of America.

Contents

Biography

Early life

Walker was born Rebecca Leventhal in Jackson, Mississippi, the daughter of Alice Walker, the African-American author of The Color Purple, and Mel Leventhal, a Jewish American lawyer.[1] After her parents divorced, she spent her childhood alternating every two years between her father's largely Jewish area in New York City and her mother's largely African-American environment in San Francisco, where she attended The Urban School of San Francisco. When she was 18, she decided to change her surname from Leventhal to Walker, her mother's maiden name.

Education and career

After graduating cum laude from Yale University in 1992, she co-founded Third Wave Foundation, a non-profit organization aiming to encourage young women to get involved in activism and leadership roles. In its first year, the organization initiated a campaign that registered over 20,000 new voters across the United States. The organization now provides grants to individuals and projects that support young women. Walker is considered one of the founding leaders of third-wave feminism.Despite Walker's public indictments of her mother, some critics believe she has benefited professionally from Alice Walker's stature and political orientation. Notably, the younger Walker adopted her mother's surname after high school, leading some to believe that she's purposefully benefiting from her mother's fame.

Walker was a contributing editor to Ms. magazine for many years. Her work has appeared in a number of publications, including Harper's, Essence, Glamour, Interview, Buddhadharma, Vibe, Child, and Mademoiselle magazines. She has been featured on CNN and MTV, and has appeared in The New York Times, Chicago Times, Esquire, Shambhala Sun, among many other publications. She also had a role in the film Primary Colors.

Walker has received several awards for her work, including the Women of Distinction Award from The National Association of University Women, "Feminist of the Year" award from the Fund for the Feminist Majority, the "Paz Y Justicia" award from the Vanguard Foundation, the "Intrepid Award" from the National Organization for Women,[2] the "Champion of Choice" award from the California Abortion Rights Action League and the "Women Who Could Be President Award" from the League of Women Voters. Walker spends much of her time speaking about (her) multicultural identity, enlightened masculinity and intergenerational and third-wave feminism at universities and conferences around the world. She also teaches writing workshops and consults on non-fiction manuscripts.

Walker is the author of four books, To Be Real: Telling the Truth and Changing the Face of Feminism; Black, White and Jewish: Autobiography of a Shifting Self; What Makes A Man: 22 Writers Imagine the Future and her latest, Baby Love: Choosing Motherhood After a Lifetime of Ambivalence.[3] She is currently working on a third anthology, One Big Happy Family: 18 Writers Talk About Polyamory, Open Adoption, Mixed Marriage, Househusbandry, Single Motherhood, and Other Realities of Truly Modern Love.

Walker is featured in The Advocate's Forty under 40 issue of June/July 2009 as one of the most influential out media professionals.[4]

Personal life

Walker is bisexual and previously had a relationship with neo-soul musician Meshell Ndegeocello.

In December 2004, Walker gave birth to a son, Tenzin, whose arrival is the subject of her new memoir, Baby Love: Choosing Motherhood after a Lifetime of Ambivalence. Rebecca Walker is currently estranged from her mother because of statements made in the previously mentioned memoir, Black, White, and Jewish: Autobiography of a Shifting Self.[5] She described her mother as a dispassionate woman who neglected her. Walker currently lives with Tenzin and his father Glen in Hawaii.

Film

  • Character "March" in 1998 Film Primary Colors

Books

  • To be Real: Telling the Truth and Changing the Face of Feminism (1996) (Editor)
  • Black, White and Jewish: Autobiography of a Shifting Self (2000)
  • What Makes A Man: 22 Writers Imagine The Future (2004) (Editor)
  • Baby Love: Choosing Motherhood After a Lifetime of Ambivalence (2007)
  • One Big Happy Family: 18 Writers Talk About Polyamory, Open Adoption, Mixed Marriage, Househusbandry, Single Motherhood, and Other Realities of Truly Modern Love (2009) (Editor)

References

External links








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