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By Ashley Judd

Ashley Judd is healthier referred to as the acclaimed actress in movies such as De Lovely and Double Jeopardy, yet nowadays she is likely to be stumbled on wading via an African refugee camp or Asian brothel than on a movie set. for many of the earlier decade Judd has been traveling human rights hotspots around the globe to unfold the observe of desire, future health, and gender equality on behalf of 1 of the top public healthiness nonprofits, PSI/YouthAIDS. Her paintings has positioned her within the corporation of Bono, invoice Clinton, and different global leaders within the conflict opposed to affliction and poverty and in advocating grassroots courses to enhance the lives of ladies and children.

Memories of her personal painful youth encouraged Judd to arrive out to these in determined want, particularly abused and deserted women. She writes movingly of buddies similar to Kausar, an AIDS patient within the slums of Mumbai who turns into an activist and peer-educator, and heroes corresponding to Dr. Rene, who lends his middle and soul to...

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Extra resources for All That Is Bitter & Sweet: A Memoir

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Rape is a weapon of war here. This camp is a small oasis of security, if not hope, for a handful of Congolese. I spot a young, sweaty child named Durika, wearing a piece of a black garbage bag. She extends her arms to me, and I scoop her up. She is limp and frail. I rock her and sing to her, pour water in my hand and wipe her face; she is blazing hot. Her mama, Muntuzu Angel, lives in a minuscule, tidy makeshift shelter, the only home she and her seven children have known for the past two years.

Not long after he moved back to Chicago in 1974, Dad decided he’d had enough of his nine-to-five job in the aerospace industry. He’d been working to support a family since he was nineteen, and now he did what a lot of people his age had already done: He dropped out. He packed a couple of pairs of jeans and a raincoat, and with $2,000 in his pocket and $8,000 in the bank, he took off in his MGB to find himself. He wandered around the country for a few months, eventually moving back to Lexington, Kentucky, where he learned a new skill as a leather craftsman.

Mom denigrated him incessantly, trying to make him sound dangerous and untrustworthy. “He’s a liar, he’s a cheater, he’s no good,” she’d say. ” Mom always told me that dad didn’t want me, that he even had pressured her to have an abortion. She also called me a “foam baby,” indicating her birth control had failed her. In the sadness and confusion that followed their final break up, I withdrew into myself, my imagination, and my friendship with Gabrielle, with whom I played games in which we imagined being rescued (her parents were divorced, too, and her mom was an active alcoholic).

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