PositiveLibrary JournalSome readers will be distressed by depictions of children’s corporal punishment and by repeated use of a slur for disability and disabled people ... Recommend to readers who enjoy engaging and sassy memoirs, and those interested in learning about 20th-century Black theater, film, and television.
Kimberly Drew and Jenna Wortham
RaveLibrary JournalReaders will find themselves noting passages to revisit and contributors whose other work they wish to seek out ... A significant offering for its timely, accessible documentation of writing, artwork, and thought around Black lives and Black futurity.
MixedLibrary JournalRecommend to readers seeking spiritually-informed black narratives or oral histories and fans of Jerkins’s first book; less useful for readers seeking factual histories of the Great Migration.
R. Eric Thomas
RaveLibrary JournalAlternately hilarious, touching, reflective, and insightful, this memoir will delight readers, who may find themselves reading sections of the book aloud to anyone within earshot ... Highlights include a funny retelling of the author\'s experience babysitting in an isolated mansion for kids who might be urine-obsessed class warriors and a poignant reflection on one of his fellow high school students\' friendship and life. Readers are carried lightly but persistently along the current of Thomas\'s writing and may find they finish the book in just one or two sittings ... A laugh-out-loud memoir that is strongly recommended for everyone.
MixedLibrary JournalNorth uses intentionally disturbing language—commonly used by Victorian-era whites—and imagery to describe African characters and the things that happen to them. Such language seems to be employed here to drive home the atrocities of colonialism but may be upsetting for some readers ... Recommended for fantasy fans with a penchant for darker story lines that investigate themes of colonialism and struggles for power.
MixedLibrary JournalVernon is more reflective and analytical in the final section, addressing plus-size modeling, modesty, and wearing (or not wearing) hijab, striving for perfection, sexism and colorism in Muslim communities, and social media trials and tribulations. Confrontational, fierce, and frequently crude, the author openly addresses the prejudices she’s faced as a fat, black, Muslim woman, and her mental health struggles. However, she seems to fail to recognize that she falls into some of the same biases she condemns in others. For example, Vernon worries that men aren’t attracted to her because she’s fat while simultaneously saying she won’t date men who are too short ... Primarily recommended for Vernon’s existing fan base, this candid memoir will also be of interest for those who have experienced emotional, physical, or sexual violence, and who are seeking forceful encouragement toward self-empowerment and self-expression.
Jennine Capó Crucet
RaveLibrary JournalCrucet’s well-written essays are entertaining and accessible, without letting readers or the author herself off the hook for reflecting on and addressing cultural issues. Strongly recommended for all readers.
Clyde W. Ford
PositiveLibrary JournalRecommended for readers interested in histories of computing and business, and black history, especially regarding STEM.