Have you ever heard of Well Read Black Girl: Finding Our Stories, Discovering Ourselves by Gloria Edim?
Well pull up a chair, and I’ll bring you up to speed.
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WHAT IT’S ABOUT
Well Read Black Girl is a collection of essays by Black women from various cultural backgrounds. These women developed a love of reading at a young age, but didn’t see a lot of characters like themselves in books.
The essays touch on a few different topics, but all include the first time they saw characters in books who represented them, whether those characters looked like them, lived like them, or had families or experiences similar to theirs.
The women also touch on the impact the books, and characters, had on them.
I’ve had this book on my radar for nearly 2 years now.
A many a book haul have gone by, but I just never hauled it. Nevertheless, I knew that I would read it at some point.
I found out, recently, that I could borrow it from my local library as an audio-book, so that’s what I did.
Now, I’m not usually one for audio-books, because I have the attention span of a gnat. But I decided I could manage this one, since it’s relatively short, coming in at just over 5 hours.
What I Enjoyed
#1: The dawning of each woman’s realization that characters like her existed in books.
Hearing about how each one discovered characters that represented her, and what that meant for her, and to her, was special.
#2: Tayari Jones’ essay.
It was masterfully written, and stood out from the rest. There’s a uniqueness, a spark, if you will, to her writing that swept me away.
#3: Gaining, not only, insight into each contributor’s young reading lives, but into their lives and experiences in general.
Each one’s story was so different, yet so much the same.
One Reason To Read This
If you need just one reason to pick up Well Read Black Girl, do it for the reading lists. These are lists of works written by Black authors included throughout the book, and there are many.
Perhaps you’ll find some new faves.
I certainly hope to.
As an avid reader, I’ve felt a certain reluctance at picking up books that feature Black characters.
Long past the Flyy Girl, and The Coldest Winter Ever season of my reading life (really enjoyable books, by the way), I find myself interested in stories with Black protagonists that don’t include trauma, drama, or slavery, as central tropes (no doubt that those stories have value in their own right, but I’m looking for something a bit different).
Before I found the lists in Well Read Black Girl, I worked up the nerve to purchase this, this, and this, each featuring a Black protagonist.
I’m excited for each one, and now thanks to those reading lists, I’ve found a few more that I want to purchase.
Even though I don’t own this book at the moment, I will purchase it.
♥ I will purchase it for the lovely stories.
♥ I will purchase it to mull over at my own speed (instead of feeling rushed due to the library’s due date).
♥ I will purchase it to mine the reading lists, in hopes of discovering new treasure. #excited #geeked
♥ I will purchase it for Tayari Jones’ contribution. My goodness she is gifted (I immediately added one of her books to the list for my next haul).
♥ I will purchase it for the Black Girl Magic.
♥ I will purchase it for myself, because I fancy myself an aspiring well-read Black girl.
If it’s not immediately obvious, I adored this book, and I look forward to the next one (*fingers crossed*). I’m so glad I finally picked this up, and am low-key kicking myself that I waited so long to read it.
What are you waiting for? Read it already!
All the Best,