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Book: 'Secret Daughter'

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  • multiracialbookclub
    Secret Daughter: A Mixed-Race Daughter -and- the Mother Who Gave Her Away (by June Cross
    Message 1 of 7 , Oct 25, 2006
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      Secret Daughter: 

      A Mixed-Race Daughter -and-

      the Mother Who Gave Her Away
                                     
                                         (by
      June Cross)

                  Secret Daughter: A Mixed-Race Daughter and the Mother Who Gave Her Away

      Editorial Reviews

      From Publishers Weekly

      Using her 1997 Emmy Award– winning documentary,
      Secret Daughter, as inspiration for her memoir of the
      same name, Cross, a TV producer and journalism
      professor at Columbia University, narrates her
      life as the daughter --- of a White woman and a
      well-known Black vaudevillian (Jimmy Cross) --
      who was handed over to a "black" couple for rearing.

      Several elements fight for the center of this memoir:
      the emotional roller coaster of life spent between
      her 'bourgeois' adoptive "black" family in Atlantic City
      and her Hollywood show business biological mother
      (who usually introduced her daughter as a niece or
      having been adopted); her undergraduate difficulties
      at the 'Harvard Crimson', "
      club of smart-assed
      white boys and pre-feminist women, more
      butch than liberated
      "; and life in the '60s ...

      She also weaves in gossipy show business tales
      that follow the career trajectory of 'F Troop' actor
      Larry Storch as well as some settling of scores
      (Jerry Lewis borrowed from her father's act "Stump
      and Stumpy" but didn't send flowers to his funeral).

      Copyright © Reed Business Information, a
      division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

      From
      Booklist

      At four years old, Cross was sent by her
      White mother, Norma, to live with a
      childless "black" couple in Atlantic City.

      For Cross, it was the beginning of a life of confusion
      about "racial" 'identity', straddling 'the middle-class
      "black" world' --(where well-mannered behavior
      might stave off mistreatment) -- and her mother's
      freewheeling bohemian life of White entertainers.

      Her mother confided that if June hadn't
      'darkened after birth', she would have kept her. ..

      This is a poignant follow-up on Cross' Emmy Award
      -winning documentary portraying the strains
      of a complicated family structure, ruptured
      by "race" secrecy, and human fallibility.

      Vanessa Bush / Cop
      yright © American
      Library Association. All rights reserved


      Book Description

      Secret Daughter is a deftly drawn and moving
      portrait of a childhood spent in two very
      different worlds: one 'White', one "black".

      In 1957, when June Cross was four years
      old, she was sent by her White mother to
      live with a "black" family in Atlantic City.

      Her mother, Norma ... gave June up when
      it became clear that her 'dark-skinned,
      kinky-haired' child could no longer "pass."

      Summer vacations were spent with her mother,
      now in Hollywood and married to
      F Troop TV actor Larry Storch.
      For many years, Norma ... told friends
      and reporters that June was "adopted".

      Secret Daughter, which grew out of Cross's
      Emmy Award–winning documentary, traces
      this thorny story with poignancy and skill...


      Image Preview  About the Author

      June Cross is assistant professor of
      journalism at Columbia University.
      She has been a television producer for
      Frontline and the CBS Evening News and
      was a reporter, producer, and correspondent
      for PBS's MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour.
      http://www.jrn.columbia.edu/faculty/cross.asp


      The Link to the 'Secret Daughter' Web Site is as  follows:
      http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/secret/

    • wintyreeve@aol.com
      Hi Friends, Secret Daughter sounds like a page turner! The thought haunts me sometimes.. What would you do if you lived a hundred years ago, being the person
      Message 2 of 7 , Oct 26, 2006
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        Hi Friends,

        "Secret Daughter" sounds like a page turner!

        The thought haunts me sometimes..
        What would you do if you lived a hundred years ago,
        being the person you are with the children you have?

        When I was a teenager there was this program for youth,
        they took you into the forest late at night. The REAL forest
        with a swamp, and you went on the deer trail--nothing paved.
        You had a guide, and were "slaves" on the underground railroad.
        It changed my life forever. I remember I was running through
        this clearing and you can hear these dogs barking behind you.
        The grass was wet and I slipped then fell.
        I just knew if I was a slave, I would be a goner.

        Perspective really gives you insight on alot...and why
        our ancestors did what they did (for good or for not).

         
        Blessings, Lynn


        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/1483
      • j s
        I ve never condemned anyone for passing since I know (intellectually) what the times were like. I probably would have done it --- I certainly wouldn t have
        Message 3 of 7 , Oct 27, 2006
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          I've never condemned anyone for "passing" since
          I know (intellectually) what the times were like.
          I probably would have done it --- I certainly
          wouldn't have had anything to gain by not doing it.

          I would also suggest that part of the reason that
          the early "black" leadership was overwhelmingly
          Mulatto was not only because they were more
          educated (having more access to education due
          to circumstances) but because the minimal
          differences between themselves and their
          'white' oppressors were even more readily
          apparent to them, and they felt even more
          strongly the hypocracy and injustice of it.

          Had there been a 3-Tier / Mulatto class in this
          country the Civil Right Movement may have had less
          fire behind it and actually developed more slowly.

          wintyreeve@... wrote:
          Hi Friends,

          "Secret Daughter" sounds like a page turner!

          The thought haunts me sometimes..
          What would you do if you lived a hundred years ago,
          being the person you are with the children you have?

          When I was a teenager there was this program for youth,
          they took you into the forest late at night. The REAL forest
          with a swamp, and you went on the deer trail--nothing paved.
          You had a guide, and were "slaves" on the underground railroad.
          It changed my life forever. I remember I was running through
          this clearing and you can hear these dogs barking behind you.
          The grass was wet and I slipped then fell.
          I just knew if I was a slave, I would be a goner.

          Perspective really gives you insight on alot...and why
          our ancestors did what they did (for good or for not).

           
          Blessings, Lynn


          http://groups. yahoo.com/ group/Generation -Mixed/message/ 1483
        • tlbaker1
          Had there been a 3-Tier / Mulatto class in this country the Civil Right Movement may have had less fire behind it and actually developed more slowly.
          Message 4 of 7 , Oct 27, 2006
          • 0 Attachment

            ""Had there been a 3-Tier / Mulatto class in this
            country the Civil Right Movement may have had less
            fire behind it and actually developed more slowly."" color

             

            Interesting ...

             

            Lynne color

             


            From: Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com
            [mailto:Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com]
            On Behalf Of
            j s
            Sent: Friday, October 27, 2006 5:01 AM
            To: Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: [Generation-Mixed] Re: Book: 'Secret Daughter'

             

            I've never condemned anyone for "passing" since
            I know (intellectually) what the times were like.
            I probably would have done it --- I certainly
            wouldn't have had anything to gain by not doing it.

            I would also suggest that part of the reason that
            the early "black" leadership was overwhelmingly
            Mulatto was not only because they were more
            educated (having more access to education due
            to circumstances) but because the minimal
            differences between themselves and their
            'white' oppressors were even more readily
            apparent to them, and they felt even more
            strongly the hypocracy and injustice of it.

            Had there been a 3-Tier / Mulatto class in this
            country the Civil Right Movement may have had less
            fire behind it and actually developed more slowly.

            wintyreeve@aol. com wrote:

            Hi Friends,

            "Secret Daughter" sounds like a page turner!

            The thought haunts me sometimes..
            What would you do if you lived a hundred years ago,
            being the person you are with the children you have?

            When I was a teenager there was this program for youth,
            they took you into the forest late at night. The REAL forest
            with a swamp, and you went on the deer trail--nothing paved.
            You had a guide, and were "slaves" on the underground railroad.
            It changed my life forever. I remember I was running through
            this clearing and you can hear these dogs barking behind you.
            The grass was wet and I slipped then fell.
            I just knew if I was a slave, I would be a goner.

            Perspective really gives you insight on alot...and why
            our ancestors did what they did (for good or for not).

             

            Blessings, Lynn



            http://groups. yahoo.com/ group/Generation -Mixed/message/ 1483

          • j s
            I base this on my experience with many Hispanics as well as Creoles, who basically come from a 3-tier System, for lack of a better word. My experience has been
            Message 5 of 7 , Oct 28, 2006
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              I base this on my experience with many Hispanics
              as well as Creoles, who basically come from
              a 3-tier System, for lack of a better word.

              My experience has been that many such cultures
              have the Mulatto class too busy trying to distance
              itself from it's “blackness” and aspire to whiteness
              --- that they are completely oblivious to
              the overall injustice and stupidity of it.

              I would also add that many Melungeon groups -- such
              as the Ramapo Mountain People/Jackson whites and
              Lumbees -- have gone to great lengths to try and
              maintain how they are Indian tribes even though
              many have no discernable Indian cultural traits
              or traditions … except the ones they adopt.

              I've seen "native attire" that the Lumbees use that are
              right out of a Hollywood western and they go to great
              lengths to talk abut how they are ‘Christians’, etc.

              They have no linguistic remnants nor other factors which
              would make them ‘a true tribe with a continous lineage’.
              I do believe them to be triracial with a signifigant
              amount of native blood but that is not all they are.

              Being from the deep south where they never had
              the luxury of claiming ‘white’ and would be
              ostracized if claiming african ancestry, ---
              their third-tier escape was to be “Indians”.

              The fact that so many of these obviously-Mulatto peoples
              seem fixated of being “Indians” is just further proof
              of the legacy of racism and the shame of african-dna.


              tlbaker1 <tlbaker1@...> wrote:

              ""Had there been a 3-Tier / Mulatto class in this
              country the Civil Right Movement may have had less
              fire behind it and actually developed more slowly.""



              Interesting ...

              Lynne


              From: Generation-Mixed@ yahoogroups. com
              [mailto:Generation- Mixed@yahoogroup s.com]
              On Behalf Of
              j s
              Sent: Friday, October 27, 2006 5:01 AM
              To: Generation-Mixed@ yahoogroups. com
              Subject: [Generation- Mixed] Re: Book: 'Secret Daughter'


              I've never condemned anyone for "passing" since
              I know (intellectually) what the times were like.
              I probably would have done it --- I certainly
              wouldn't have had anything to gain by not doing it.

              I would also suggest that part of the reason that
              the early "black" leadership was overwhelmingly
              Mulatto was not only because they were more
              educated (having more access to education due
              to circumstances) but because the minimal
              differences between themselves and their
              'white' oppressors were even more readily
              apparent to them, and they felt even more
              strongly the hypocracy and injustice of it.

              Had there been a 3-Tier / Mulatto class in this
              country the Civil Right Movement may have had less
              fire behind it and actually developed more slowly.

              wintyreeve@aol. com wrote:


              Hi Friends,

              "Secret Daughter" sounds like a page turner!

              The thought haunts me sometimes..
              What would you do if you lived a hundred years ago,
              being the person you are with the children you have?

              When I was a teenager there was this program for youth,
              they took you into the forest late at night. The REAL forest
              with a swamp, and you went on the deer trail--nothing paved.
              You had a guide, and were "slaves" on the underground railroad.
              It changed my life forever. I remember I was running through
              this clearing and you can hear these dogs barking behind you.
              The grass was wet and I slipped then fell.
              I just knew if I was a slave, I would be a goner.

              Perspective really gives you insight on alot...and why
              our ancestors did what they did (for good or for not).
              Blessings, Lynn

            • tlbaker1
              You are great, I love your emails!!! They are trying so hard to distance themselves from their blackness and maybe not always successful at doing so. As for
              Message 6 of 7 , Oct 28, 2006
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                You are great, I love your emails!!!

                They are trying so hard to distance themselves from their
                "blackness" and maybe not always successful at doing so.

                As for me, I can almost always tell if someone is a
                Mixed-Race person no matter what they look like
                (can't pass w/me, LOLOL, not that my opinion counts).

                I have found if the person or ethnic group has not
                been historically labelled / categorized as "black"
                or "african-american, etc." by white society,
                ---- they tend to use the so called
                loophole to find their way out of it.

                 

                And this is hillarious:

                 

                I've seen "native attire" that the Lumbees use that are
                right out of a Hollywood western and they go to great
                lengths to talk abut how they are ‘Christians’, etc.

                Lynne


                From: Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com
                [mailto: Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com ]
                On Behalf Of
                j s
                Sent: Saturday, October 28, 2006 12:09 PM
                To: Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: [Generation-Mixed] Re: Book: 'Secret Daughter'

                 

                I base this on my experience with many Hispanics
                as well as Creoles, who basically come from
                a 3-tier System, for lack of a better word.

                My experience has been that many such cultures
                have the Mulatto class too busy trying to distance
                itself from it's “blackness” and aspire to whiteness
                --- that they are completely oblivious to
                the overall injustice and stupidity of it.

                I would also add that many Melungeon groups -- such
                as the Ramapo Mountain People/Jackson whites and
                Lumbees -- have gone to great lengths to try and
                maintain how they are Indian tribes even though
                many have no discernable Indian cultural traits
                or traditions … except the ones they adopt.

                I've seen "native attire" that the Lumbees use that are
                right out of a Hollywood western and they go to great
                lengths to talk abut how they are ‘Christians’, etc.

                They have no linguistic remnants nor other factors which
                would make them ‘a true tribe with a continous lineage’.
                I do believe them to be triracial with a signifigant
                amount of native blood but that is not all they are.

                Being from the deep south where they never had
                the luxury of claiming ‘white’ and would be
                ostracized if claiming african ancestry, ---
                their third-tier escape was to be “Indians”.

                The fact that so many of these obviously-Mulatto peoples
                seem fixated of being “Indians” is just further proof
                of the legacy of racism and the shame of african-dna.


                tlbaker1 <tlbaker1@gmail. com> wrote:


                ""Had there been a 3-Tier / Mulatto class in this
                country the Civil Right Movement may have had less
                fire behind it and actually developed more slowly.""




                Interesting ...


                Lynne




                From: Generation-Mixed@ yahoogroups. com
                [mailto: Generation- Mixed@yahoogroup s.com ]
                On Behalf Of
                j s
                Sent: Friday, October 27, 2006 5:01 AM
                To: Generation-Mixed@ yahoogroups. com
                Subject: [Generation- Mixed] Re: Book: 'Secret Daughter'



                I've never condemned anyone for "passing" since
                I know (intellectually) what the times were like.
                I probably would have done it --- I certainly
                wouldn't have had anything to gain by not doing it.

                I would also suggest that part of the reason that
                the early "black" leadership was overwhelmingly
                Mulatto was not only because they were more
                educated (having more access to education due
                to circumstances) but because the minimal
                differences between themselves and their
                'white' oppressors were even more readily
                apparent to them, and they felt even more
                strongly the hypocracy and injustice of it.

                Had there been a 3-Tier / Mulatto class in this
                country the Civil Right Movement may have had less
                fire behind it and actually developed more slowly.

                wintyreeve@aol. com wrote:



                Hi Friends,

                "Secret Daughter" sounds like a page turner!

                The thought haunts me sometimes..
                What would you do if you lived a hundred years ago,
                being the person you are with the children you have?

                When I was a teenager there was this program for youth,
                they took you into the forest late at night. The REAL forest
                with a swamp, and you went on the deer trail--nothing paved.
                You had a guide, and were "slaves" on the underground railroad.
                It changed my life forever. I remember I was running through
                this clearing and you can hear these dogs barking behind you.
                The grass was wet and I slipped then fell.
                I just knew if I was a slave, I would be a goner.

                Perspective really gives you insight on alot...and why
                our ancestors did what they did (for good or for not).

                Blessings, Lynn

                 

                 

              • wintyreeve@aol.com
                Message 7 of 7 , Nov 1, 2006
                • 0 Attachment
                  <<< They have no linguistic remnants nor other factors which
                  would make them �a true tribe with a continous lineage".
                  I do believe them to be triracial with a signifigant
                  amount of native blood but that is not all they are.>>>>

                  color

                  I so agree Creole!

                  I cannot get most people to understand this concept at all!
                  When I try to explain to people what it is to
                  be MIXED most of the time their eyes glaze over!
                  They get stuck on the mono-racial label or
                  the stereotype of what you "have to be"...
                  i.e. the Hollywood Indian or the
                  dozens of other insulting costumes.
                  Out true culture, and our true identity is MIXED...
                  and lies in how our cultural traits have adapted
                  to our environment, our historical circumstances,
                  our family circumstances and what is passed down.
                  I truly believe Mixed people truly represent the cultures
                  of their origin but they also represent something more.

                  Blessings, Lynn
                  color
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