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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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INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERWINNER OF THE 2020 NAACP IMAGE AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING LITERARY WORK — BIOGRAPHY/AUTOBIOGRAPHYNOW OPTIONED FOR DEVELOPMENT AS A TV SERIES BY PARAMOUNT TELEVISION...
INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERWINNER OF THE 2020 NAACP IMAGE AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING LITERARY WORK — BIOGRAPHY/AUTOBIOGRAPHYNOW OPTIONED FOR DEVELOPMENT AS A TV SERIES BY PARAMOUNT TELEVISION...
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  • INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

    WINNER OF THE 2020 NAACP IMAGE AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING LITERARY WORK — BIOGRAPHY/AUTOBIOGRAPHY

    NOW OPTIONED FOR DEVELOPMENT AS A TV SERIES BY PARAMOUNT TELEVISION STUDIOS AND ANONYMOUS CONTENT

    “The millennial Becoming . . . Inspiring and empowering.” —Entertainment Weekly
     
    “An essential read for women in the workplace today.” —Refinery29

    Part-manifesto, part-memoir, from the revolutionary editor who infused social consciousness into the pages of Teen Vogue, an exploration of what it means to come into your own—on 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.

Excerpts-

  • From the book

    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...

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    March 15, 2019
    The former editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue tells the story of her rise in the world of media and high fashion.The child of a black mother and Irish Catholic father, Welteroth grew up in the largely white middle-class suburbs of Newark, California. She knew from childhood that she "wanted to be the boss." Yet by the time the author reached puberty, her growing self-doubt began to fester. Though popular, she did not have the straight blonde hair--and more to the point, the whiteness--of girls who were the "Thing" among her peers. She also discovered that as a biracial girl, she did not have full "membership" among black students. Although she felt out of place and somehow never quite "good enough" or "worthy enough," Welteroth eventually found the models who helped shape her path in college. The first was a young biracial female professor who encouraged the author to embrace her blackness. Internships with a Los Angeles entertainment PR firm and then a major New York advertising company followed. Ambition ignited, she courted the attention of Ebony creative director Harriette Cole and was rewarded with a job at the magazine, where she came into contact with powerful black women like Serena Williams and Michelle Obama. She then took a junior editorship at Glamour followed by positions at Ebony and then Teen Vogue. There, she caught the attention of Vogue editorial icon Anna Wintour, who helped promote her to Teen Vogue editor-in-chief. Under pressure to increase the magazine's revenue, Welteroth came into awareness of her true mission: to celebrate diversity in a predominantly white fashion and media industry. The author's impressive career trajectory makes for fascinating reading, but what makes the book especially worthwhile is its depiction of an emergent social and political consciousness so strong that it eventually led her to abandon corporate media for the "joy of dancing into [an unknown] future."An inspiring memoir by a dynamic groundbreaker.

    COPYRIGHT(2019) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Library Journal

    June 1, 2019

    Welteroth's debut memoir is an insightful, eye-opening chronicle of her rise from wide-eyed intern to editor in chief of one of the top U.S. fashion magazines. Born to an African American mother and white father, Welteroth explains how feelings of "otherness," high ambition, and love of fashion led to a revelation at age 19, when she realized she wanted to be a fashion magazine editor. The author achieved this goal by her late 20s, becoming the first and youngest African American editor at Condé Nast, assuming the role of editor in chief of Teen Vogue in 2017. However, her rise to the top was fraught with perils, including racial bias, fractured romances, and pay disparities. She recounts these challenges, along with her struggles with finding a reliable life partner and creating a work/life balance. While the title may lead some to consider this a self-help book, it's not; at least not in the traditional sense. VERDICT An inspiring memoir of a remarkable journey that shows of the power of faith, friendship, family and dreams.--Leah Huey, Dekalb P.L., IL

    Copyright 2019 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    July 1, 2019
    Welteroth’s inspiring debut follows her personal and professional trajectories as she unpacks her ascent to becoming editor-and-chief of Teen Vogue in 2017 and details her experience as a black woman in media. From humble beginnings as a “brown girl boss” running a makeshift hair salon out of her Newark, Calif., cul-de-sac home, Welteroth built an illustrious editorial career as she worked her way up through increasingly substantial roles at Ebony and Glamour magazines. She tackles intimate details of her past—family skeletons (such as years of dealing with her father’s drinking and depression), heartbreaks, and solidifying her sense of identity—with an equal mix of personal vignettes and existential musings. Welteroth’s many revelations of romantic missteps, including a relationship with a Wall Street banker that ends calamitously after she receives an email about his philandering, and career pitfalls and triumphs, as when she is recruited from Glamour to Teen Vogue, are delivered in a conversational voice: “I was beginning to carve out space for conversations about identity and race at the magazine... and the intersection between fashion, culture, and later, politics.” Explaining her many experiences being “othered,” by coworkers at largely white Condé Nast magazines and just generally out in the world, Welteroth offers a narrative of empowerment to any reader who has had similar experiences. This affecting tale of claiming one’s space and refuting biases will encourage readers to believe in their own worth and demonstrates Welteroth’s mantra of “First. Only. Different.”

  • Booklist

    Starred review from April 15, 2019
    In this inspiring memoir, journalist Welteroth outlines her meteoric rise to success. Welteroth was raised in northern California, the confident, driven child of a Black mother and white father. As early as grade school, she was sure of two important truths: she was born to be the boss, and the fact of her race would be with her every step of the way. Detailing her professional journey, Welteroth tells of the break she caught at 20 that launched her into journalism; the mentor who steered her into an editorial position at Ebony; her first job in the mythical Cond� Nast headquarters; and the implicit biases she encountered along the way. At 29, Welteroth became editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue, charged with diversifying and electrifying the wilting magazine. Threaded throughout are tales of her more personal life: toxic relationships, burnout, and a struggle to claim space for herself and deserving, under-represented others. With lyrical prose resonant of Jacqueline Woodson's, Welteroth shows what it truly means to be a leader: to elevate others and challenge systems of oppression, without ever sacrificing a job well done. Now writing for television and judging on Project Runway, Welteroth is proof that living the dream is an ever-changing, ever-satisfying journey to behold.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2019, American Library Association.)

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