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My role was to put things in perspective for her, project optimism, imply that things were better than they’d been for me growing up on the south side of Chicago in the 1930s. The hair, the skin, the frustration with schoolwork: It was all part of the shake. Rashida answers questions about “what” she is differently. Thank God she left that disgusting black man, Puffy.” I said, “I’m black.” He tried to smooth it over.

KIDADA: I had another hurdle as a kid: I was dyslexic. IF you’re obviously black, white people watch their tongues, but with me they think they can say anything.

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One day I joined them as usual at their cafeteria table. Sometimes I think of him and how different my life might be if I hadn’t been so chicken. Confused and identity-less, I spent sophomore year crying at night and sleeping all day. ” I said, “No.” Toughing it out when you don’t fit in: That was the strength my sister gave me. If Kidada defined herself as black at 11, I defined myself as multiracial at Harvard.

RASHIDA: Fortunately, I’d gotten interested in acting, and my theater classes roused me from my depression. RASHIDA: After graduating from Harvard, my college boyfriend and I broke up, and I moved to New York to be an actress.

interview that really delved into Rashida’s upbringing alongside her sister Kidad and includes quotes from their actress mom Peggy Lipton and their producer dad Quincy Jones. This is my natural hair, these are my natural eyes! Today I feel guilty, knowing that because of the way our genes tumbled out, Kidada had to go through pain I didn’t have to endure.

It goes a long way in explaining why Rashida relates so well to Jewish folk and how she got turned off black men. Loving her so much, I’m sad that I’ll never share that experience with her.

But I was happy about relocating, because Kidada was back in L. KIDADA: Rashida said to me: Come hang with my friends. My boyfriend didn’t want me to be at Kidada’s 25th birthday party, so I skipped it. RASHIDA: In 2000, I joined the cast of Boston Public.

When I called her to apologize, she was so beyond anger, she murmured, “Whatever.” KIDADA: That hurt. I also broke off that negative, unhappy relationship.

He offered me a job in New York, being his muse, and he left me work in every part of his company–designing, marketing, advertising, modeling. I was working with the hottest hip-hop acts: TLC, Snoop Dogg, Usher.

RASHIDA: And finally I was leaving for college, for Harvard. Harvard was supposed to be the most enlightened place in America, but that’s where I encountered something I’d never found in L. The way the clubs and the social life were set up, I had to choose one thing to be: black or white. I went to black frat parties and joined the Black Student Association, a political and social group.

KIDADA: I’m sure that’s true, but I experienced all that heart and soul in black families. PEGGY: So one day when Kidada was 14, we drove to Fairfax High, where I gave a fake address and enrolled her. My skin and hair had been inconveniences at my other schools–I could never get those Madonna spiked bangs that all the white girls were wearing–but my girlfriends at Fairfax thought my skin was beautiful, and they loved to put their hands in my hair and braid it. KIDADA: I wanted to live with Dad not because he was the black parent, but because he traveled. RASHIDA: At this time, anyone looking at Kidada and me would have seen two very different girls. RASHIDA: Still, our love for the same music–Prince, Bobby Brown, Bell Biv De Voe–would bring us together on weekends.

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