Saturday 30 January 2021

Girl by Kenya Hunt | Book Review

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Girl by Kenya Hunt - 5/5
"In the vein of Roxane Gay’s Bad Feminist, but wholly its own, Girl is a provocative, heartbreaking and frequently hilarious collection of original essays on what it means to be black, a woman, a mother and a global citizen in today’s ever-changing world.

Black women have never been more visible or more publicly celebrated. But for every new milestone, every magazine cover, every box office record smashed, the reality of everyday life remains a complex, nuanced, contradiction-laden experience.
Award-winning journalist and American in London Kenya Hunt threads razor sharp cultural observation through evocative and relatable stories, both illuminating our current cultural moment and transcending it."

I don't think I could ever rate this lower than a five out of five. It is an important book that everyone should read.

It is made up of essays on different "topics", mainly written by Kenya Hunt but also by a few contributors which I will get to in a moment.

Girl - "the root word in the unique love language between Black women"

This book touches on important subjects such as the rise of Black people being seen on TV, movies and magazine covers and seeing themselves being represented, the impact of Donald Trump being elected President of the United States, pregnant Black women and their maternal care, activism, and many more.

I will be completely honest and say that I feel educated after reading 'Girl'. It had me Googling people like Sally Hemings and Bethann Hardison who I shamefully and ignorantly knew nothing about.

I watch the news, I see on social media the effect that racism has but I still I had genuine shock at some things like how hard it is to book an Airbnb because your profile picture shows that you are Black. Something known as "Booking while Black." Appalling.

As I mentioned before, there are contributors in the form of Ebele Okobi, who writes about raising a Black boy ("Is this the year he is old enough to be a threat?" and the death of her younger brother Chinedu at the hands of police officers in the US), Jessica Horn (her experience visiting Panzi Hospital in Bukavu and becoming an activist), Freddie Harrel (on hair) and Candice Carty-Williams (on writing Queenie and the aftermath).

I encourage everyone to get a copy of this book because it is truly eye-opening.

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