🗣 Things just got super awkward! (Me closing out chapter 15). To start, I was extremely pleased and inspired by Alix’s career! I enjoyed how the author detailed Alix’s claim to success - from starting off writing “beautiful letters” in order to receive free merchandise, to becoming an empowering #mompreneur using her voice, helping other women, and leaning into an “untimely” breast feeding incident 😂.
The character Emira (and her friends!) are some of the realest depictions of what it is to be a young black girl I’ve read thus far. I really appreciated the author for not washing the characters of black characteristics, as so many authors do. My girl was dark skinned, rocking black hair styles, taking public transportation, clubbing, twerking, and like many young girls fresh out of college, completely lost when it pertains to her career.
Aside from the amazing character build up, my best takeaways were;
A. In a racially charged grocery store incident (that honestly could've gone viral and promoted lawsuits), Emira decided to keep it pushing after it was proven she was in the right. To Emira, the ordeal was an issue that occurs time and time again in our society, so to push the matter further seemed to her like more of a corny claim to fame rather than an unresolved issue that needed to be righted. I appreciated this stance because I know for certain, incidences like this happen way more than reported! But like Emira, most of us just want to get on with the rest of our day, knowing one isolated incident where no one was harmed, is not going to lead into anything but a few bucks and being labeled as the next poster child for a short movement, unable to resolve the bigger issue in today’s society — that blacks are often revered as untrustworthy, problematic, and have an unspoken need to be monitored and policed by whoever fills the shoe that day.
B. My next takeaway is How non-blacks/minorities are so shocked when the black people they love are put into compromising, racially charged situations. The attitude of Alix and Peter, being completely surprised and enraged after the grocery store incident is exactly how we wished people would act when it’s attached to other blacks/minorities they may not know personally. BUT instead, similar to the Alix and Robbie dynamic from Alix’s youth, it’s a “Don’t know you, don’t trust you, and you’ll probably do the crime if you haven’t done it already,” approach which is super toxic!
C. And last but not least, it’s always interesting to read about biracial relationships, especially when the woman is black and male is white. Kelley’s character is my favorite. I appreciated how he rose to the occasion and stood up for Emira during the grocery store debacle. He could've instead turned a blind eye, or just stood in the wings as a bystander like you see more often than not. He’s also funny, encouraging, consenting, and truly into Emira now that they're dating. I also love that he’s pretty into black culture and understands the harsh realities black people face everyday in our society. He seems to feel the quiet loses and injustices we endure, in relation to his friends and in general, and even more important – he understands how common it is for blacks to be devalued and treated inhumanely when holding a position in a service capacity. I loved this about him!
All-in-All, this book has piqued my interest a great deal. I can’t wait to see how everything unfolds. The authors has done a beautiful job stringing together a story line that’s easy to follow, engaging, and questions everyone's racial biases.