This Will Be My Undoing: Living at the Intersection of Black, Female, and Feminist in (White) America

This Will Be My Undoing: Living at the Intersection of Black, Female, and Feminist in (White) America

From one of the fiercest critics writing today, Morgan Jerkins’ highly-anticipated collection of linked essays interweaves her incisive commentary on pop culture, feminism, black history, misogyny, and racism with her own experiences to confront the very real challenges of being a black woman today—perfect for fans of Roxane Gay’s Bad Feminist, Rebecca Solnit’s Men Explain...

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Title:This Will Be My Undoing: Living at the Intersection of Black, Female, and Feminist in (White) America
Author:Morgan Jerkins
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Edition Language:English

This Will Be My Undoing: Living at the Intersection of Black, Female, and Feminist in (White) America Reviews

  • Nicole Froio

    THIS WILL BE MY UNDOING is a book about the experiences of a young black woman in America. Jerkins writing is nothing short of addictive, I devoured this book and learned a lot from it. She writes with honesty, weaving her own experiences with historical references about black culture and resistance, writing and art that made her think, black people who inspire her and white people who disappoint her. Jerkins' writing is complex and her reasoning is nuanced, and she makes clear that this book is

    THIS WILL BE MY UNDOING is a book about the experiences of a young black woman in America. Jerkins writing is nothing short of addictive, I devoured this book and learned a lot from it. She writes with honesty, weaving her own experiences with historical references about black culture and resistance, writing and art that made her think, black people who inspire her and white people who disappoint her. Jerkins' writing is complex and her reasoning is nuanced, and she makes clear that this book is for other black women by addressing them specifically in a couple of chapters. As a Latina woman, I understand this book was not specifically written for me, but I find it important to read books that are outside of my own scope of experiences and this books is excellent.

  • Roxane

    In Morgan Jerkins’s remarkable debut essay collection This Will Be Our Undoing, she is a deft cartographer of black girlhood and womanhood. From one essay to the next, Jerkins weaves the personal with the public and political in compelling, challenging ways. Her prodigious intellect and curiosity are on full display throughout this outstanding collection. The last line of the book reads, “You should’ve known I was coming,” and indeed, in this, too, Jerkins is prescient. With this collection, she

    In Morgan Jerkins’s remarkable debut essay collection This Will Be Our Undoing, she is a deft cartographer of black girlhood and womanhood. From one essay to the next, Jerkins weaves the personal with the public and political in compelling, challenging ways. Her prodigious intellect and curiosity are on full display throughout this outstanding collection. The last line of the book reads, “You should’ve known I was coming,” and indeed, in this, too, Jerkins is prescient. With this collection, she shows us that she is unforgettably here, a writer to be reckoned with.

  • Veronica

    I took my time with this one and I'm so glad. I kept going back to reread different parts. Highly recommend.

  • Kayla

    This book is EVERYTHING to me. As a Black woman who has existed in primarily white environments, Jerkins words are validating on so many levels. She's is gloriously accurate in articulating many of the thoughts and feelings I've had about being a Black woman in a white world: So many topics, like black women and their hair; whether or not it's appropriate for non-Black people to write about Black women's experiences; "race traitors"; and why it actually is all about race. There is so much to be

    This book is EVERYTHING to me. As a Black woman who has existed in primarily white environments, Jerkins words are validating on so many levels. She's is gloriously accurate in articulating many of the thoughts and feelings I've had about being a Black woman in a white world: So many topics, like black women and their hair; whether or not it's appropriate for non-Black people to write about Black women's experiences; "race traitors"; and why it actually is all about race. There is so much to be found in the pages of Jerkins memoir, especially as a Black woman. I look forward to reading more of her work!

  • Rita

    What a perfect way to start the year.

    The author is absolutely brilliant! She is so smart, so talented with her words, and amazing at decoding and interpreting social cues and phenomena. I really have to read her articles now. She is definitely one of my favorite authors!

    I have been given a review copy through Edelweiss by the publisher, so I will review this on my blog this week and update this review.

    I am so excited to share my thoughts on this one!!!

  • Amy Layton

    If there is a book that should be required reading for this year, This Will Be My Undoing is it.  Her words ring out with truth, and they are poetic.  For the first half of this book, I was unfortunate enough to not have a pen with me, so now half of the book is underlined and annotated and the other half isn't.  But I suppose that just means I should read it again...

    Morgan Jerkins is a twenty-something who can speak a multitude of languages and has visited many countries, all the while forging

    If there is a book that should be required reading for this year, This Will Be My Undoing is it.  Her words ring out with truth, and they are poetic.  For the first half of this book, I was unfortunate enough to not have a pen with me, so now half of the book is underlined and annotated and the other half isn't.  But I suppose that just means I should read it again...

    Morgan Jerkins is a twenty-something who can speak a multitude of languages and has visited many countries, all the while forging a career for herself.  Though it hasn't been easy--being a black woman surely has brought her some disadvantages from the start.  

    As a white woman myself, I find this book to be immensely important.  Not only does it help me reinforce me deconstructing the anti-black and misogynistic narratives with which I've been socialized, but it has taught me so much more than I could have ever hoped.  This book is filled with essays, and letters, and rules, and each piece makes me wonder how it can be that Jerkins is only twenty-something, for she has the most incredible mastery of language that I've seen in my generation.  

    This book is something to behold, and it's another thing to hold it in your hands.  It is timely, it is important, it is essential.

    Review cross-listed

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  • Jessica Woodbury

    I read a lot of books by women of color, and specifically black women. But I think THIS WILL BE MY UNDOING may be the single book that has most clearly showed me the experience of being a young black woman in America today. I am a white woman and I think part of the reason Jerkins succeeds so wildly is that she is not centering her book around readers like me. Much of what we encounter in the world centers on a default white audience. The fact that this book isn't "for me" is exactly why it work

    I read a lot of books by women of color, and specifically black women. But I think THIS WILL BE MY UNDOING may be the single book that has most clearly showed me the experience of being a young black woman in America today. I am a white woman and I think part of the reason Jerkins succeeds so wildly is that she is not centering her book around readers like me. Much of what we encounter in the world centers on a default white audience. The fact that this book isn't "for me" is exactly why it works. This is not an effort to translate the experience of black women for other audiences, this book simply seeks to portray the experience of black women as purely as possible, with black women at its center.

    While this is a book of essays, it also feels much of the time like a work of memoir. The best essays are those most closely tied to Jerkins' own experience. She writes about her life with a clear-eyed wisdom that frankly makes me extremely jealous. She is not just vulnerable, but willing to identify and examine her own flaws and biases. That she is able to do this while still in her twenties is astonishing.

    I admit I had this book for weeks before I read it. It's a difficult world right now and I wasn't sure if I wanted to dive into a book like this. It turns out that once I started I sped through it and it felt good. I wasn't weighed down by these essays, instead they crystallized ideas, helped me see perspectives more clearly, and led me to my own journey of self-examination. It wasn't a depressing experience but an invigorating one.

  • Julia

    Pulled from my Edelweiss review:

    "There are some books that you are content to read but don't feel like you need to own. "This Will Be My Undoing" is a book that I'm so glad I read and that I will certainly be going out to buy so it has a permanent place on my shelves. The essays in this book are packed with so much that I know every time I revisit them I'll come away having gleaned something new.

    These essays talk about what it means to exist in this world as a black woman. There is no separating

    Pulled from my Edelweiss review:

    "There are some books that you are content to read but don't feel like you need to own. "This Will Be My Undoing" is a book that I'm so glad I read and that I will certainly be going out to buy so it has a permanent place on my shelves. The essays in this book are packed with so much that I know every time I revisit them I'll come away having gleaned something new.

    These essays talk about what it means to exist in this world as a black woman. There is no separating the two. Not only was I nodding along while reading I also found myself tearing up more often than I ever would have imagined I would. There's so much depth here. It was a fabulous read."

  • Rebel Women Lit

    Thank you to Harper Perennial for an advanced readers copy of "This Will Be My Undoing" in exchange for an honest review.

    Now more than ever, owing to social media and online publications, black women are at the center of discourse; both as subject matter and narrator. "This Will Be My Undoing" sees Morgan Jerkins, a young black woman, interlacing her personal experiences with historical and modern sources to underscore black girlhood and womanhood against the white backdrop of America. With her

    Thank you to Harper Perennial for an advanced readers copy of "This Will Be My Undoing" in exchange for an honest review.

    Now more than ever, owing to social media and online publications, black women are at the center of discourse; both as subject matter and narrator. "This Will Be My Undoing" sees Morgan Jerkins, a young black woman, interlacing her personal experiences with historical and modern sources to underscore black girlhood and womanhood against the white backdrop of America. With her unmistakable intellect, Morgan carries us across the landscape of black female existence. From the stripping of young black girls' childhood innocence and black women's centuries of emotional labour to they're daily fight for autonomy over their physical bodies. Through the lenses of her own experience navigating predominantly white spaces, Morgan displays the full gamut of systemic, emotional, social and generational issues that black women face.

    What was most appreciated about "This Will Be My Undoing" was the fact that the exploration of black womanhood did not stop at the burdens that black women face every time they meet a new day. What was alarmingly clear, especially in the final chapters of this memoir-esque essay collection, was her humanisation of black women. They feel love, pain, grief joy and happiness. They have hopes, dreams, aspirations and create art. Morgan's emphasis on celebrating ourselves as an inherent act of resistance was a necessary punctuation to this collection. #BlackGirlMagic

    Equally appreciated is how relatable and understandable this book is. Because Morgan's writing is descriptive and enlists the use of literary devices, it removes a barrier that academic writing often erects. It gives access to the understanding of complex systems of oppression to persons who academia sometimes neglect and, for that reason, we would recommend this collection to persons who are new to black feminism, who desire a fundamental understanding of its tenets.

    "This Will Be My Undoing" will make waves and so will Morgan. #RebelWomenLit

    - Kristina Neil

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