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Bebe Moore Campbell

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Information about Bebe Moore Campbell

Profile image of Bebe Moore Campbell

Profession

Category:
ArtMakers
Occupation(s):
Fiction Writer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Green, Red, Yellow
Favorite Food:
Seafood
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
Favorite Quote:
When You're Going Through Hell, Keep Going.

Birthplace

Born:
2/19/1950
Birth Location:
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Profession

Category:
ArtMakers
Occupation(s):
Fiction Writer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Green, Red, Yellow
Favorite Food:
Seafood
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
Favorite Quote:
When You're Going Through Hell, Keep Going.

Birthplace

Born:
2/19/1950
Birth Location:
Philadelphia
See how Bebe Moore Campbell is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Author Bebe Moore Campbell was born on February 19, 1950, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Doris Edwina Carter Moore and George Linwood Peter Moore. Campbell’s parents were well educated, and her father, a war veteran, was permanently paralyzed in an auto accident the year Campbell was born. Campbell’s parents separated in 1953, and she went on to live with her mother and maternal grandmother in Philadelphia during the school year and her father in North Carolina during the summer. Her experiences growing up in both the North and South gave her a unique perspective on racial segregation in the United States.

Campbell attended Philadelphia’s Girls High School and upon graduation was admitted to the University of Pittsburgh where she was the only African American in her dorm. Feeling isolated, Campbell decided to join the Black Action Society and tutor local elementary school children; she graduated with her B.S. degree in elementary education in 1972, and began teaching in the Atlanta public schools. In 1975, Campbell moved to Washington, D.C., where she continued to teach; after enrolling in a class led by Toni Cade Bambara, a renowned African American author, Campbell abandoned teaching to become a writer.

In the mid-1970s, Campbell was published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Essence, Ebony and Seventeen, among other publications; she also appeared as a regular commentator on National Public Radio. Campbell’s books were often informed by her own experiences and engaged with issues of interpersonal relationships. Campbell’s first book, a fictional work entitled Successful Women, Angry Men: Backlash in the Two Career Marriage, was an analysis of the relationship between a woman’s career and her marriage. Sweet Summer: Growing up With and Without My Dad, her second book, was a memoir of her childhood in a divorced family. Her most critically acclaimed novel, Your Blues Ain’t Like Mine, was an exploration of southern racism and the conflicts sparked by the murder of a fifteen-year-old boy; the book won an NAACP Image Award and was named a New York Times Notable book for 1992.

Campbell wrote eight books, three of which became New York Times best sellers; her awards included a 1978 Professional Woman’s Literature Award, and a National Endowment for the Arts Literature grant, which she received in 1980.

Campbell lived in Los Angeles with her husband, Ellis, and had two children, Ellis Gordon, III, and Maia Campbell, now a successful actress.

Campbell passed away on November 27, 2006 at age 56.

See how Bebe Moore Campbell is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Bebe Moore Campbell's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Bebe Moore Campbell lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Bebe Moore Campbell describes her mother's family background, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Bebe Moore Campbell describes her father's family background, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Bebe Moore Campbell describes her father's family background, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Bebe Moore Campbell describes how her parents met
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Bebe Moore Campbell describes her mother's education
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Bebe Moore Campbell describes her mother's family background, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Bebe Moore Campbell describes her father's military service
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Bebe Moore Campbell describes her parents' marriage
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Bebe Moore Campbell recalls her father's car accident
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Bebe Moore Campbell recalls her father's move to North Carolina
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Bebe Moore Campbell describes Philadelphia's James Logan Elementary School
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Bebe Moore Campbell recalls getting into trouble in elementary school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Bebe Moore Campbell describes her childhood neighborhood of North Philadelphia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Bebe Moore Campbell describes her home life as a child
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Bebe Moore Campbell describes her elementary school, neighborhood and church
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Bebe Moore Campbell remembers graduating from elementary school and attending junior high school
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Bebe Moore Campbell describes her interest in boxing
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Bebe Moore Campbell describes General Louis Wagner Junior High School
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Bebe Moore Campbell recalls growing up during the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Bebe Moore Campbell describes the Philadelphia High School for Girls
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Bebe Moore Campbell describes her high school experiences
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Bebe Moore Campbell describes her high school principal and vice principal
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Bebe Moore Campbell remembers encountering social divisions in high school
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Bebe Moore Campbell remembers choosing to attend the University of Pittsburgh
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Bebe Moore Campbell describes her first year in college
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Bebe Moore Campbell recalls her car accident and college activities
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Bebe Moore Campbell talks about the Civil Rights Movement and the Black Action Society
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Bebe Moore Campbell describes her parents' occupations during the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Bebe Moore Campbell describes her college courses and career aspirations
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Bebe Moore Campbell describes her interest in creative writing
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Bebe Moore Campbell describes John Oliver Killens' writing workshop
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Bebe Moore Campbell recalls working as a freelance writer for Essence
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Bebe Moore Campbell describes working as a freelance writer
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Bebe Moore Campbell recalls her time as Black Enterprise's Washington, D.C. correspondent
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Bebe Moore Campbell describes her nonfiction books
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Bebe Moore Campbell talks about her book 'Your Blues Ain't Like Mine'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Bebe Moore Campbell describes her novels
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Bebe Moore Campbell describes her involvement with the National Alliance on Mental Illness
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Bebe Moore Campbell talks about her husband, Ellis Gordon, Jr.
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Bebe Moore Campbell describes her books for children
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Bebe Moore Campbell describes how she would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Bebe Moore Campbell shares advice for families of people with mental illness