Toni Braxton reveals she pretended to speak in tongues to survive parents’ cult
She grew up poor, and her parents’ religious cult forced her to speak in tongues. She hated her wide nose and Adidas NMD BB1970 R1 Unisex Red Black White Malaysia Outlet tiny breasts. She’s had to declare bankruptcy twice. She’s divorced, has an autistic son, and has been diagnosed with Lupus, a debilitating chronic inflammatory disease.
But in spite of all the trials and tribulations, Braxton is considered one of the best R singers around, with six Grammy awards under her belt.
Now Braxton has written a memoir describing her tumultuous life, Unbreak My Heart, published by It Books, an imprint of Harper Collins. ‘I’m looking ahead with that ultimate hope that peering back at my past heartbreaks will ultimately lead to healing’, she writes in her memoir.
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Boob job: Toni admits her tiny boobs made her so unhappy she she had a boob job. ‘Before I got the breast implants, my stylist would use duct tape beneath my tiny boobs to make it look like I had cleavage’, she reveals.
She adds that she regrets not getting lipo on her thighs
Toni’s life began in Severn, Maryland, a suburb of Baltimore, in a two bedroom trailer with turquoise shutters. Her grandmother was ninety percent Caucasian, and her grandfather, Frances Braxton, half African American and half Native American, was a descendant of Carter Braxton, the Virginia delegate who signed the Declaration of Independence.
Her father, Michael. was living in Baltimore when he met 15 year old Evelyn Jackson at a YMCA dance in Severn. He was in love and married the young girl from Cayce, South Carolina who had been sent up to live in Severn with an aunt.
Less than a year after the couple tied the knot in 1966, Toni would be the first baby of five daughters and a son.
Her parents didn’t have much money but her mother brought her southern lifestyle up north and grew collard greens and tomatoes in the backyard for her soul food cooking. She also led the family on a spiritual search out of the Baptist faith and into a rigid Apostolic Pentecostal congregation, Pillar of Truth.
Meet the Braxtons: Front row from left: Evelyn (Mom), Tamar, Michael Sr. (Dad). Back row from left: Trina, Toni, Towanda, Adidas NMD BB1970 R1 Unisex Red Black White Malaysia Outlet Traci, Michael Jr. (aka Mikey)
Women had to ‘cover their nakedness’ by wearing only skirts or dresses, full stockings even in the summer and no holidays were acknowledged or ‘You’re going to hell’!
‘I began connecting religion, God and church with judgment, anxiety and guilt’, 2017 Adidas Nmd New Arrived R1 W Suede Pack Unisex Wine Red White Outlet Malaysia Toni writes.
Her salvation was singing in the Sunshine Band, the children’s church choir. Yes, Lawd, that child can sang’! the congregation said.
There were so many religious restrictions that it left little else for children to do. Toni couldn’t go roller skating because that music was evil. Going to a movie was a sin. Drinking was ungodly.
You had to be prepared for rapture to come at any time and the goal was to be ‘saved’ and stay obedient, which required being baptized and speaking in tongues. That was the evidence that you were on your way to heaven. They married in 2001 and she had son Denim eight months later. She had gotten pregnant before but decided to have an abortion because she was taking Accutane for acne, a drug that has since been taken off the market for causing birth defects
At eight years old, Toni faked speaking in tongues and quickly learned that ‘the ties that bound us together became the ties that strangled us’, she writes. ‘Our family had fallen into religious extremism’.
Their spiritual pursuit alientated Toni from other children her age. Her clothes were homely, her mother fixed her hair in a ponytail right on top of her head, and her studies suffered with so many siblings at home. Her parents could not focus on enforcing the children to study
Her parents’ religious journey took them through two more repressive churches before they landed at an organization called Truth Foundation. Despite the repression, the family learned that the girls could sing Trina, Traci, Tamar, Towanda and Toni and Nike Air Max Tavas Men Black Grey White Factory Outlet Malaysia they performed at area churches.