The Atlantic’s Jenisha Watts on Hiding — Then Sharing — Her ‘Childhood in a Crack House’

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 (photo courtesy of Jenisha Watts)

“I’ve spent my whole life trying to belong, to show people that I’m not like ‘them,’ not a Black person living in poverty, not a Black person with an addiction.” So writes Atlantic senior editor Jenisha Watts in the magazine’s October cover story, “I Never Called Her Momma: My Childhood in a Crack House.” When Watts began her career in journalism, she hid her roots while further developing her love for words and storytelling. She’s telling her own story now for the first time. We’ll talk with Watts about her family, the transformative power of Black literature and what it means to write about — and share — the trauma we’re used to keeping private.

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I Never Called Her Momma: My Childhood In A Crack House


Jenisha Watts, senior editor, The Atlantic