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Rebecca Walker | Freedom to be who we are

It's A Long Story

Sydney Opera House

The daughter of Alice Walker, who wrote the African-American classic The Color Purple, and Melvyn Leventhal, a Jewish civil rights lawyer, Rebecca Walker’s intersecting and sometimes jarring identities were the foundation of her career. In 1992, her article for Ms Magazine ‘I am the Third Wave’ crystallised her thinking around feminism and activism. Its massive success spurred on her work: she established the Third Wave Fund to support young women from diverse backgrounds to pursue activism and leadership. Multiple memoirs, essay collections and a novel followed. Rebecca’s work has always been a response to her personal situation, be it family, identity, becoming a mother, masculinity, race, Buddhism, or a combination of all of these, and she has developed a strong and compelling ethos about what it means to live a feminist life in an ever-changing world.

“The third wave was about individuating from people and ideas that I had grown up with ... But it was also a real bow to the women who raised me.”

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