Marra B. Gad was born on April 12th, 1970, to a white Jewish mother and a black father. She was then adopted by an Ashkenazi Jewish family. Her biological mother knew that the adoption process would be harder with a biracial baby, so she kept this part of Marra’s identity a secret. Despite this, Gad’s adopted family welcomed her with love.
Gad faced racism and scrutiny from a young age. She was often perceived as ‘not Jewish enough’ or was simply mistaken for a worker or a threat at many synagogues. Many of her extended family members held racist views as well.
Gad received her BA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an MA in Jewish History from Baltimore Hebrew Institute at Towson University.
Marra is president of Egad! Productions, a tv and film company. She has written many things, including her first memoir The Color of Love: A Story of a Mixed-Race Jewish Girl, which was published in 2019. Marra is currently working on her next book, which will take place in a high school setting.
Gad’s memoir gives a lot of insight into what it was like for her to grow up as a biracial jew. The novel focuses on her relationship with her great-aunt Nette. Gad had been estranged from her great-aunt for 15 years, due to Nette’s racism. However, after finding out that Nette was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, Gad decided to choose love and attempt to form a relationship that seemed impossible to form. The book not only looks into Marra B. Gad’s life but also provides commentary on the issues of racism, antisemitism, and the places where they overlap.
Gad told Jewishjournal.com “I’ve wanted to talk about it for a very long time. It wasn’t a conversation that society or the Jewish community was having. When I noticed a few years ago that we were starting to acknowledge people like me, I decided it was time to speak.”
The memoir won the 2020 Midwest Book Award for Autobiography/Memoir.
Here is a 2021 interview if you want to learn more!
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