A memoir that looks at race in twelve telltale, connected essays that explore the complexities and memories and ambushing realities of growing up black in the South with a family name inherited from a white man, of getting a PhD from Yale, of marrying a white man from the North, of adopting two babies from Ethiopia, of teaching at a white college and living in America's New England today.
Even the best essay collections routinely contain some filler, but of the 12 essays here, there's not one that even comes close to being forgettable. Bernard's language is fresh, poetically compact and often witty ... In Black Is the Body, Bernard proves herself to be a revelatory storyteller of race in America who can hold her own with some of those great writers she teaches.
Bernard's honesty and vulnerability reveal a strong voice with no sugarcoating, sharing her struggle, ambivalence, hopes, and fears as an individual within a web of relationships black and white. Highly recommended.