Book Reviews

Review: Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America edited by Ibi Zoboi

Black Enough is fabulous. The list of contributors is stellar and each story touches a chord within your heart. I can’t imagine how much more meaningful it would mean to see myself represented in an anthology like this. The closest I have is A Thousand Beginnings and Endings, but I’d love to see one that is contemporary. Like growing up as a handful of Asian kids, being called a ‘banana’, navigating the line between being adopted and the other Asian kids.

Summary

Black is…sisters navigating their relationship at summer camp in Portland, Oregon, as written by Renée Watson.

Black is…three friends walking back from the community pool talking about nothing and everything, in a story by Jason Reynolds.

Black is…Nic Stone’s high-class beauty dating a boy her momma would never approve of.

Black is…two girls kissing in Justina Ireland’s story set in Maryland.

Black is urban and rural, wealthy and poor, mixed race, immigrants, and more—because there are countless ways to be Black enough.

Review

(Disclaimer: I received this free book from Edelweiss. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

Black Enough is one of those books you read and know will change someone’s life. It’s not a far stretch to see the good that this anthology can do. Not only for black teens growing up, stretching into themselves, and seeing their stories. But also for people outside of the community to read about the myriad of different experiences. It’s a fabulous anthology for reading some of your favorite author’s contributions, to finding new authors you have to track down in the future.

I was immediately drawn to Black Enough after reading Zoboi’s American Street and I was not disappointed. The stories in here are stunning, transformational, and emotional. It’s not about the pictures we see, the stories we know, or the narratives we are used to hearing, it’s about the black teens having adventures, crushes, and more. It’s stories breaking out of the boxes that society can expect them to occupy. As Zoboi states, “my hope is that Black Enough will encourage all black teens to be their free, unhibited selves without the constraints of being black, too black, or not black enough. They will simply be enough just as they are”. (quoted from an unfinished copy, so quote is subject to change). To stretch and occupy more space.

Overall,

It was absolutely fabulous to read and I’d love to see one of these anthologies for Asian teens. There are stories about sisterhood, about family, and acknowledging who we are. This is also one of those anthologies, where I loved every single story.

Find Black Enough on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound & The Book Depository.

Discussion

What is your favorite anthology?


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