Secret Daughter: A Mixed-Race Daughter and the Mother Who Gave Her Away
Paperback – April 24, 2007
The daughter of a white mother and black father describes the factors that caused her mother to place her in the custody of an African-American family and the impact of her mother's later choice to hide the truth about their relationship.
June Cross was born in 1954 to Norma Booth, a glamorous, aspiring white actress, and James “Stump” Cross, a well-known black comedian. Sent by her mother to be raised by black friends when she was four years old and could no longer pass as white, June was plunged into the pain and confusion of a family divided by race. Secret Daughter tells her story of survival. It traces June’s astonishing discoveries about her mother and about her own fierce determination to thrive. This is an inspiring testimony to the endurance of love between mother and daughter, a child and her adoptive parents, and the power of community.
A painful, richly detailed account . . . [that reveals] astonishing truths. (Newsweek)
Searing, revelatory à mind-boggling in its rich and complex interplay of personalities [and] social and racial pressures. (Elle)
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.