Books August 22, 2012 By Jennifer Pappas

<em>from Grandmother Power: A Global Phenomenon</em> by Paola Gianturco, powerHouse Books.

Grandmother Power: A Global Phenomenon Paola Gianturco, powerHouse Books.

Can you talk a bit about how this book came about?

In 2006, I asked women in Kenya to, “Tell me about your family; how many children do you have?” All these women answered the same way, “Three – and six adopted.” “Four – and 16 adopted.” “Two – and four adopted.” Suddenly I realized that “adopted” really meant they were raising their grandchildren who had been orphaned by AIDs. I met grandmothers all over Africa who were raising AIDs orphans and I left realizing that the future of that continent literally rests with the grandmothers.

I wondered what contributions grandmothers in other places were making and discovered a global activist grandmother movement, in which grandmothers are working to create a better future for grandchildren everywhere.

The comment you just made about the future of Africa resting with its grandmothers – do you think that statement could also be true for a country like the United States? Do you think grandmothers here are equally concerned with improving the world for their grandchildren?

In 2008, almost two million children in the United States were being raised by their grandmothers, an arrangement that crossed ethnic and racial lines: 50% of those grandmothers were white, 27% African American, 18% Hispanic and 3% Asian.

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