DeRay McKesson Discusses How His Mother’s Absence Shaped Who He Is Today
Patrick Melon

Activist DeRay McKesson is a newly minted author with the release of his book On the Other Side of Freedom: The Case for Hope. In the book, which was released in September, McKesson openly writes about racial injustice, activism, and important aspects of his upbringing, which include discussing his relationship with his  mother.

On the latest episode of ESSENCE’s Yes, Girl! podcast, McKesson delved deeper into his relationship with his mother, who left when he was 3-years-old and came back when he was 30, and the impact her absence had on his life.

“Just the other day, someone asked me why I wrote about my mother. There is no way for me to think about how I showed up in the world that isn’t impacted by her absence,” McKesson says.

He went on to discuss how during a recent tough period in his life, he wished he had someone there to nurture him.

“The other day, I woke up and I just wanted a mother, I just wanted a hug. I wanted to know there was a place that love lived. I don’t have that, she’s just not in my life that way. Because of her absence, I had to work through a lot of my own issues about being worthy.”

Listen to the full episode with DeRay McKesson below:

Subscribe to ESSENCE’s Yes, Girl! podcast here.

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