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  • amazing collection of stories

    An anthology of young adult stories from Black American authors, Black Enough collects the different perspectives of living as a Black person, and tries to define and subvert what it means to be Black in today’s world. There are sweet stories, there are harsh stories, there are a couple of hilarious stories and there are a couple that make you feel cold. There is discussion of family, identity, culture, and social justice. The stories speak about the anxiety of being a person of color in ‘white spaces’ and racism faced externally, yes, but they also challenge colorism, class struggles, queer identities, and judgement from your own people. Most of the stories were beautifully written, and challenged these topics from every aspect, like when Into the Starlight by Nic Stone talked about the hypocrisy of rich Black people, while Oreo by Brandy Colbert and Black Enough by Varian Johnson talk about it from the side of the one being judged unfairly just because they don’t subscribe to a particular image. In the book, we have Black nerds coming of age, as in Black Nerd Problems by Lamar Giles, a story which I particularly loved for the levity dropped in. There’s a coming-out story in the form of Justina Ireland’s Kissing Sarah Smart and a gay cowboys story in Jay Coles Wild Horses, Wild Hearts; the latter felt a bit open-ended, though. A couple of stories felt either generic (Girl Stop Playing), or didn’t seem to fit the them (Whoa!). There is also a long played-out sexual assault happening in Gravity by Tracey Baptiste, which goes into rape culture and the fear of seeming aggressive as a Black woman, in a matter of minutes. Overall, it is an amazing collection of well-written stories that brings together these issues and discusses them in the context of living in America while being Black.

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