Black woman the queen the backbone shirt Rihanna was a tiny child when she first walked in on her father smoking crack. The family struggled with poverty during her childhood in Barbados; her home life was marred by violent arguments and her father’s crippling drug and alcohol addictions. At school though, her teachers recorded that she was sure of herself, intelligent and “very observant of her environment”. By the time she was 10, Rihanna had become a carer to her two younger brothers while her mother worked to support them. Her parents later divorced.