The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl
I was given this book as a Christmas gift last year and I have finally finished reading it. Issa Rae is witty, relatable and definitely awkward. As an African who also grew up being socially awkward, I identified with her story and I felt inspired by her dedication to pursuing her dreams despite the cultural pressure to get a more stable career. Without giving too many spoilers because I want you to go get the book yourself, I will highlight a few things that I enjoyed about this book.
In the chapter The ABG Guide: Connecting to other Blacks, Issa provides a list of types of black people and their characteristics. There's a group called the Not-Black-Blacks which are black people that do not identify as black people. According to Issa, "They tend to dissociate themselves from the shame associated with being "regular black", unaware that there is no such thing. The stigma is too much to bear, so they would rather not. These Not-Black Black's are typically Caribbean, African, not American and or mixed Americans" (pg. 55). When I first moved to the United States and learned about slavery in my 8th-grade history class, I was traumatized and didn't know how to deal with it. So I chose not to identify as black, but Nigerian (which is true) but was also a defense mechanism I used to separate myself from the stigma and history associated with being African American. I'm glad to say that I'm more mature and no longer think or act that way but instead I'm comfortable living as a nerdy black instead.
In the chapter ABG Guide: Black & Asian Men Issa sheds light on an issue that I often think about. She said "Black and Asian men are at the bottom of the dating totem pole in the United States"(pg. 137). Interesting enough this topic came up in one of my classes where our professor asked us why we think this is so? There are different theories and most of them revolve around stereotypes on Black women and Asian men that discourage people from dating them. I sometimes worry about this because studies have shown that the more educated a black woman is, the less likely she is to get married. Yikes, but that will not be my portion in Jesus Name, Amen! Issa Rae recommends that Asian men and Black women unite forces and just date each other, and I agree.
Other topics I enjoyed reading about is Issa's family dynamic, her dating struggles and the tragic events that lead to her writing this book. I highly recommend getting this book and when you read it, comment below and tell me what your favorite parts are.