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More Than Enough
Cover of More Than Enough
More Than Enough
Claiming Space for Who You Are (No Matter What They Say)
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“Elaine gifts us all with a beautifully intimate and powerful retelling of her ever-unfolding journey. In sharing her joys, pitfalls, adventures, self-doubt, and successes, she reminds us that...
“Elaine gifts us all with a beautifully intimate and powerful retelling of her ever-unfolding journey. In sharing her joys, pitfalls, adventures, self-doubt, and successes, she reminds us that...
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  • “Elaine gifts us all with a beautifully intimate and powerful retelling of her ever-unfolding journey. In sharing her joys, pitfalls, adventures, self-doubt, and successes, she reminds us that through uncovering and discovering the many facets of ourselves, we are more than enough.”
    —Yara Shahidi
     
    “Elaine’s book is a call for young women to find their voice and spark their courage—it’s a book I would have loved to discover as a young woman starting my own career.”
    —Reese Witherspoon

    In this part-manifesto, part-memoir, the revolutionary editor who infused social consciousness into the pages of Teen Vogue explores what it means to come into your ownon your own terms


    Throughout her life, Elaine Welteroth has climbed the ranks of media and fashion, shattering ceilings along the way. In this riveting and timely memoir, the groundbreaking journalist unpacks lessons on race, identity, and success through her own journey, from navigating her way as the unstoppable child of an unlikely interracial marriage in small-town California to finding herself on the frontlines of a modern movement for the next generation of change makers.

    Welteroth moves beyond the headlines and highlight reels to share the profound lessons and struggles of being a barrier-breaker across so many intersections. As a young boss and often the only Black woman in the room, she’s had enough of the world telling her—and all women—they’re not enough. As she learns to rely on herself by looking both inward and upward, we’re ultimately reminded that we’re more than enough.


    Includes a bonus interview

Excerpts-

  • From the cover

    Chapter 1

    Born Enough

    I am my ancestors' wildest dreams.

    Brandan Odums, aka Bmike

    THANK YOU, JESUS!"

    My mother's multi-octave praise assailed everyone within earshot of her hospital bed. She is a gospel singer-a rare female contralto in a traveling church quintet called the Angelic Voices. Those lungs could project.

    Her booming voice moved like a praise dance down the long hallways of the Good Samaritan maternity ward, sweeping my aunts, who were anxiously awaiting my arrival, into a kind of contagious joy only she can conjure-we had our very own chorus cheering from the waiting room. I was conceived in love, born into celebration, and it seems almost prophetic now that the first words I'd ever hear were filled with the unmistakable delight of a woman getting exactly what she wanted.

    But let's rewind for a second, to the moments before my mother's cry of joy. Shortly after I was born, I was rushed off to the baby ICU with an oxygen-deprived face the color of a Smurf. The umbilical cord strangled me during delivery, so even during those first celebratory moments on planet Earth I appropriately had more pressing matters to tend to than listening to my mother. To this day she jokes that I was busy putting people to work right out of the womb.

    Meanwhile, the frenzy around the circumstances of my delivery was so great that it distracted even the doctors from fact-checking one very critical piece of the birth story before reporting it:

    "It's a boy!" they proclaimed as I was whisked away.

    "Joseph Tyler!" My dad rejoiced, halfway hoping his excitement would distract my mother from the panic of not being able to see or hold her newborn.

    My mom will tell you her prayers were simply to give birth for the second time to a healthy baby, but her heart's desire was for a baby girl; a daughter with a gang of hair to braid; a little sister for her firstborn son to protect; a woman to guide throughout her walk in the world. Luckily for her, just as the pigment was returning to my skin and as soon as the doctors could stabilize me, all that baby boy business went out the window-right along with my mom's coy charade. The delivery nurse took a closer look at me and immediately filed a correction.

    "Um, excuse me, ma'am. I've been doing this a long time and I know the difference between a girl and a boy when I see it," the nurse said, placing me into my mom's arms. "This is a baby girl."

    My mother's life was now complete. She finally had the boy and girl she had always dreamed of.

    As a newborn I looked like an exact replica of my older brother, Eric Charles, who was born two and a half years earlier, but Mom was quick to spot one distinguishing characteristic: "You see this jawline?" Her finger traced the only visible bone structure on an otherwise puffy mound of flesh. "She gets that from her mama. This ain't no Joseph Tyler. This is Elaine Marie."

    And that's when she let it rip: "THANK YOU, JESUS!"

    As any family legend goes, the earliest stories of our lives are passed on like hand-me-downs, stretched in some places and covered in the owner's loving fingerprints. Are they always true? Mostly. Are there some exaggerations? Knowing my mother, no doubt. But regardless of what drama actually went down in that hospital room that day, what I've known for sure every day since is the profound impact of a mother's love. And for as long as I can remember, it has always been there to remind me that I was born enough.

    When a girl is born, a universe of possibilities is born within her. When a little Black girl is born, she is born with the promise of a better...

Reviews-

  • AudioFile Magazine The intensely likable Elaine Welteroth, former editor of TEEN VOGUE, narrates her touching memoir with humor and emotional depth. Confiding in listeners in a tone that sounds like she's their best friend, Welteroth vividly recounts painful experiences growing up biracial in a predominantly white suburb. With emotional honesty, she describes her meteoric rise as a magazine writer and editor in New York. The foreword by filmmaker Ava Duvernay, voiced by Adenrele Ojo, isn't very memorable. During important conversations, Welteroth's mother steps in to voice herself. Her deep, resonant voice is a force of nature that makes the mother-daughter relationship especially vivid on audio. Welteroth overwhelmingly succeeds as a tour guide for listeners who feel the need to figure out what they want and how to get it. J.T. � AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine

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    Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
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Claiming Space for Who You Are (No Matter What They Say)
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Elaine Welteroth
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