Day 13 of 28 – Black History Month – Victoria Rowell

Victoria Rowell looking spiffy in menswear. (Source:daytimeconfidential)

By: Aryanne Ferguson

If you ever flipped on the TV to The Young and the Restless or Diagnosis Murder in the 90s, you’ve probably seen Victoria Rowell.  Rowell is not only an author, but an actress, former professional ballerina, winner of the NAACP Image Award, and founder of The Rowell Foster Children’s Positive Plan program.

I’m generally out of the loop (unless we’re talking fiction or Korean dramas), so I didn’t come across Rowell until I picked up her memoir, The Women Who Raised Me, in a thrift store. Yes, she threw in a picture of herself and Samuel L. and then talked about how she met Bill Cosby, but before all the name-dropping, she told the story of how she was raised in the foster care system. She never met her birth father, her birth mother wasn’t capable of taking care of multiple children, much less herself. Her mother was White and her father was Black, so her mother’s family refused to acknowledge Rowell as part of their family. And so Rowell and her sisters were placed into the state of Maine’s foster care system. Luckily, Rowell was fortunate in that she was be raised by strong women who noted her talent for ballet and fought for Rowell to receive opportunities such as studying ballet at a prestigious school in Boston.

Rowell is also the author of a series of soap opera novels, which are apt to be entertaining considering her background in acting. So, Reader, read any good memoirs lately?

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