Friday 11 March 2022

The Problem With My Normal Penis by Obioma Ugoala | Book Review

[ad/gifted - I received a proof copy of this book to take part in a readalong with Tandem Collective. All thoughts and opinions are my own.]

The Problem With My Normal Penis by Obioma Ugoala
Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Publisher: Scribner
Publication date: 31st March 2022

You’re a black man. 
Aggressive. Athletic. 
Feared. Fetishised. 
Policed. Politicised.
It’s limiting. It’s tiring. And it’s not true. 

I jotted down so many notes that stood out to me when reading this but I am finding it hard to convey how important this is. This is a book that everyone should read.

The stereotype from the title of the book is just the tip of the iceberg and Obioma Ugoala delves deep into racism, sexism and masculinity.

Ugoala has written this very well with facts and statistics interspersed with his life as a man with Jamaican heritage on his father's side and Irish heritage on his mother's side, things that he came up against as a schoolkid, teenager, actor. The shackles comment on Obi's choral trip genuinely made me gasp.

When George Floyd was killed protests happened, companies posted a black square with the hashtag #blacklivesmatter but then what? I agree that it did feel like a token act. We see racism still happening in so many aspects of life today. People just speaking without realising that what they are saying is offensive. What needs to happen for us to change, as a society?

Two quotes that really stuck out to me were:

"Black people should feel grateful that their cup of wine is only a tenth mixed with cyanide, because previously it was half and half"

"Racism is not your fault but it's going to be your challenge"

Read this book.

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