Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books.
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
Innocent: Confessions of ... has been added to your Cart
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by book_holders
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: [ No Hassle 30 Day Returns + Ships Daily ] No Underlining/Highlighting
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Innocent: Confessions of a Welfare Mother Paperback – July 1, 2011

4.8 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$18.95
$10.00 $2.98

The Numberlys Best Books of the Year So Far
$18.95 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • Innocent: Confessions of a Welfare Mother
  • +
  • The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates
Total price: $28.47
Buy the selected items together


Editorial Reviews

Review

"Morrison chooses her words expertly, bringing a sense of beauty and longing to every situation, even those that prove heart-breaking and difficult for her. . . Morrison is a keen observer of her situation, even while being so changed by it, and because of that, she brings a unique sense of compassion, introspection, and eloquence to her work." -ForeWord Reviews

"Innocent challenges the welfare stereotype and in so doing, exposes readers to the stories, struggles, and small mercies of life as a welfare recipient." -JMWW

About the Author

Barbara Morrison is the author of the memoir Innocent: Confessions of a Welfare Mother. She conducts poetry and memoir workshops and speaks on women's and poverty-related issues. She is also the author of a poetry collection, Here at Least, with a new collection, Terrarium, coming May 2013. She tweets regularly about poetry, and her award-winning work has been published in anthologies and magazines. Visit her website and blog for more information and to join her mailing list.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 342 pages
  • Publisher: Apprentice House (July 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934074659
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934074657
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #542,346 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I could not put down this well-written and very readable memoir of a young woman who unexpectedly finds herself with no choice but to go on welfare. In addition to personal stories, the author presents vivid descriptions of fellow welfare mothers and what they had to go through in order to support their children. It is a very balanced and objective portrait of the welfare system and the necessity of providing a helping hand and a way to escape the welfare life and become productive, self-supporting citizens. I highly recommend it.
Comment 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Innocent: Confessions of a Welfare Mother by B. Morrison

As politicians once again excoriate welfare families to make political hay, "Innocent: Confessions of a Welfare Mother" by Barbara Morrison is a must read for anyone who wants to gain perspective on living life at the mercy of the welfare system. Through her clear prose and honest accounting, Morrison recounts her days as a welfare mother and her struggle to navigate a bewildering system that even those administering it do not fully understand. Years ago, I had the privilege of publishing an excerpt of this, at that time unpublished, memoir. I am pleased to find that this compelling work has come to fruition and is serving as a voice of experience in our current, difficult political and economic landscape.

Disowned by her wealthy Baltimore family, abandoned by her husband, caring for one young child with another on the way, and faced with job prospects that would not cover the cost of childcare, let alone rent, utilities, food, clothing, and transportation to any job she could find, Morrison made the difficult decision to apply for welfare. Once in the system, she and her family lived at the whim of a bureaucracy that failed to understand the true limitations of poverty, that required its recipients to already have the trappings of a middle class existence before they could receive the aid they needed, and that penalized recipients for implementing thrift or attempting to pool their resources. Throughout her years of hardship, Morrison's greatest desire was to find a way out.

"Innocent: Confessions of a Welfare Mother" dispels the myths and stereotypes endemic to the image of the welfare mother.
Read more ›
Comment 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
I zipped through this satisfying book so quickly, only stopping to reread some very beautifully written passages.

Morrison's story is set in the mid 70's. In it she tells of how with the birth of two boys, she had no choice but to go on welfare. She touchingly writes about her need to hide the fact from her friends who lived in another city, as if believing what society teaches, that being a welfare mother is a disgrace. While the tale, especially as she rises up and succeeds, has a modern fairy tale quality about it, it is full strength reality.

This is a great book for anyone who had similar circumstances, had to sign up for welfare to survive, but also had to survive the humiliation of the 'support.' This is also an inspirational book for anyone who has been lost, especially if like Morrison, equipped with brainpower, even if not money. Poignant here are how small kindnesses get one through. As someone who knows the power of dance, I loved her dealing with a strange dance world, as one of her lifelines. Through out it all was her fierce responsibility to her children. An odd combination of facts, but she structures it into a lively memoir.
Comment 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you were looking for a review of the entire welfare system, this is not it. Morrison writes about the 1970's system of welfare, which has been entirely revamped since the time she writes about. This does, however show how hard it can be for a single mom with no support system. This is more a personal story of survival, not a story of welfare.
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition
Barbara Morrison’s Innocent ends with a quote from George Herbert: “Poverty is no sin.” That might have been the title. Morrison describes how she, a healthy, well-educated young woman, found herself with one baby and pregnant with another, abandoned by her husband and ignored by her parents. With no means of support, she was forced to turn to welfare to survive. She was subjected to every humiliation but persevered. She never wavered from her motto, The kids come first.

Running through her account is an undertone of scorn people on welfare live with, a baseless and sometimes unconscious assumption that the poor are lazy. That judgment is one step away from the dictum that poverty is a conscious choice. Hence current political convictions that unemployment benefits should be ended so that the shiftless will be forced to get a job.

The unspoken courage that Morrison’s book chronicles is akin to that of soldiers in combat: risk doesn’t matter—you do what you have to do. Hers is a story both sobering and inspiring.

—Tom Glenn, author of Friendly Casualties and No-Accounts
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Barbara Morrison's memoir of struggling, as a well-educated, middle-class young woman thrown into the lonely, poverty-stricken life of a single mother raising her child alone on welfare weaves sorrow with joy, hardship with wonder, compassion with truth.
Finding the courage to leave her marriage that has dropped from heaven halfway to hell, Morrison must build an utterly new environment, skill-set, and even self as she learns to survive and care for her child in the seedy neighborhoods of a city she does not know--and to manage the necessities of life through the meager support of a bureaucratic welfare system, of landlords driven by varied combinations of greed and laziness, and of the sometimes near-miraculous help of (mostly new) friends.
In some ways, Morrison is fortunate. She is young, her body up to the stresses of sleepless nights and welfare-office waits, of constant travel for the most minimal necessities, of toting the weight of child plus stroller plus blanket plus that a car-less mother must manage where even public transit costs, to one so poor, a fortune. She is young enough, too, to find companionship and connection with the single mothers all around her in her new neighborhood. And she has embarked upon her odyssey in the relatively early years of the AFDC program, when it was new and many programs were being introduced to help "Welfare mothers" to "get back on their feet"--programs well meant, in those times, even if inadequate, sometimes ridiculous and/or demeaning, and without sufficient funds.
Nevertheless, she must confront the same dehumanizing, chilly Welfare bureaucracy that those of us who came along soon after had to deal with.
Read more ›
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Innocent: Confessions of a Welfare Mother
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: Innocent: Confessions of a Welfare Mother

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?