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*Rebecca Walker was born on this date in 1969. She is a Black feminist, speaker, and writer.
Walker was born in Jackson, Mississippi, to Mel Leventhal, a white-American Jewish lawyer, and Black author Alice Walker. After her parents divorced, she spent her childhood alternating every two years between her father's predominantly Jewish area in New York City and her mother's largely Black area in San Francisco, where she attended The Urban School of San Francisco.
At the age of fourteen, she became pregnant but had an abortion. When she was eighteen, she changed her surname from Leventhal to Walker, her mother's maiden name. After graduating from Yale University in 1992, she founded the Third Wave Foundation, a non-profit organization encouraging young women to participate in activism and leadership roles. In its first year, the organization initiated a campaign that registered over twenty thousand new voters across the United States. The organization now grants young women who want to start their businesses or go to school.
Walker has been a contributing editor to Ms. Magazine since 1989. Her work has appeared in several publications, including the New York Daily News, Essence, and Mademoiselle Magazines. She has been featured on CNN and MTV and has appeared in the New York Times, Chicago Times, and Esquire, among other publications.
She also had a role in the film Primary Colors. Walker has received several awards for her work, including the "Feminist of the Year" award from the Fund for the Feminist Majority, the "Paz Y Justicia" award from the Vanguard Foundation, 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 is openly bisexual. While her relationship with her long-time partner, singer Meshell Ndegeocello, is over, they are co-parenting a son. She is dividing her time between California and New York City and spends much of her time speaking about third-wave feminism and activism at universities and conferences.
Time Magazine has named her as one of the 50 future leaders of America. Walker has stated that she is "attracted to people irrespective of their anatomy and gender socialization." Walker is the author of the original Third Wave primer To Be Real: Telling the Truth and Changing the Face of Feminism, in print for more than ten years and taught in Gender Studies programs around the world; the bestselling post-civil rights memoir Black, White, and Jewish: Autobiography of a Shifting Self, winner of the Alex Award from the American Library Association; and What Makes a Man: 22 Writers Imagine The Future, about which Booklist wrote: "Walker has done society at large a great service by bringing forth these voices, these views."
Walker's memoir, Baby Love: Choosing Motherhood After a Lifetime of Ambivalence, was published to acclaim in the New York Times, People Magazine, the Washington Post, Babble, and on the KTLA Morning Show NPR, and many more. Danzy Senna, author of Caucasia and You Are Free, writes, "In Baby Love, Rebecca Walker has shone a bright light on the Ambivalent Generation. Moving, wise, and deeply honest, Baby Love has illuminated a crucial question for our times."
Her third collection, One Big Happy Family, explores the explosion of non-traditional family configurations in the US and includes perspectives on polyamory, transracial adoption, house husbandry, and single motherhood. Her collection, Black Cool, explores the singular aesthetic that has helped to shape the world.
To be a Writer
Black, White and Jewish: Autobiography of a Shifting Self (2000).
Putting Down the Gun: New Masculinity (2003) (anthology).
What Makes A Man: 22 Writers Imagine The Future (2004) (Editor)