Well-Read Black Girl: Finding Our Stories, Discovering Ourselves

Well-Read Black Girl: Finding Our Stories, Discovering Ourselves

An inspiring collection of essays by black women writers, curated by the founder of the popular book club Well-Read Black Girl, on the importance of recognizing ourselves in literature.Remember that moment when you first encountered a character who seemed to be written just for you? That feeling of belonging can stick with readers the rest of their lives--but it doesn't co...

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Title:Well-Read Black Girl: Finding Our Stories, Discovering Ourselves
Author:Glory Edim
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Well-Read Black Girl: Finding Our Stories, Discovering Ourselves Reviews

  • Noelle

    Thanks to #netgalley and #randomhousepublishing for giving me my first ARC, Well-Read Black Girl! This book is the epitome of why representation matters. Well-Read Black Girl is an anthology of essays by black women writers. All of the women represented in the book share a common love for reading at an early age, and the lack of representation in books with girls who look like them. Well-Read Black girl is very timely and necessary. Thanks to the wonderful women who contributed to this book and

    Thanks to #netgalley and #randomhousepublishing for giving me my first ARC, Well-Read Black Girl! This book is the epitome of why representation matters. Well-Read Black Girl is an anthology of essays by black women writers. All of the women represented in the book share a common love for reading at an early age, and the lack of representation in books with girls who look like them. Well-Read Black girl is very timely and necessary. Thanks to the wonderful women who contributed to this book and to the editor Glory Edim, girls and women today can relate to the characters created through all of their voices.

  • Michelle

    I remember the time my teacher placed a copy of

    in my hands. I identified strongly with young Maya. Through her walk a sense of power was infused in me. I felt that I could endure. Just the idea that a little brown girl's voice held that much power. I remember shortly after that Dr. Angelou came to visit my local library. She towered over the patrons yet she always managed to embrace everyone at their own level. Even at that young age I understood that I was in th

    I remember the time my teacher placed a copy of

    in my hands. I identified strongly with young Maya. Through her walk a sense of power was infused in me. I felt that I could endure. Just the idea that a little brown girl's voice held that much power. I remember shortly after that Dr. Angelou came to visit my local library. She towered over the patrons yet she always managed to embrace everyone at their own level. Even at that young age I understood that I was in the company of greatness. Her regal stature, her warmth and her strength encouraged me. I became a lifelong fan and follower of her life.

    As I got older other women of the diaspora joined my literary canon: J. California Cooper, Sonia Sanchez, Alice Walker, Toni Morrison, Ntozake Shange, Sapphire . . .

    They all came into my life when I need them the most.

    In Glory Edim's much anticipated anthology,

    , 21 Black women writers were asked about their early experiences with literature. When did they first see themselves reflected back in the stories that they read? When did a protagonist beg of them to see more, feel more, be more? How did the absence of their experience - or inclusion in some cases - spur them on to write their own masterpieces? What role did their mentors and idols within the Black literary community play in their decision to become writers?

    Besides getting a glimpse into the birth of these authors' love of reading and writing, Edim has carefully selected and tucked between these pages recommended literary works by women of color.

    Special thanks goes out to NetGalley, Ballantine Books and Glory Edim for access to this wonderful work.

  • Reading in Black & White

    This book perfectly captures what it feels like to be a black girl that loves books and the difference they can make in your life...I can’t wait for everyone to experience this one!!!

  • MissFabularian

    I really loved this. I'm buying hardcopies for my daughter's.

  • Stacie C

    I’ve always been a voracious reader. My mother used to read me bedtime stories at night and as soon as I learned how to read, more often than not you would find me with a book in my hands. There are two books that stand out that were an obvious reflection of me and my family: The People Could Fly by Virginia Hamilton and Pass It On: African American Poetry by Wade Hudson. Those two books had Black people on the covers, Black people on the pages and were about Black people. Those were the two boo

    I’ve always been a voracious reader. My mother used to read me bedtime stories at night and as soon as I learned how to read, more often than not you would find me with a book in my hands. There are two books that stand out that were an obvious reflection of me and my family: The People Could Fly by Virginia Hamilton and Pass It On: African American Poetry by Wade Hudson. Those two books had Black people on the covers, Black people on the pages and were about Black people. Those were the two books I would always go back to. Even after years of reading Goosebumps, Fear Street and Stephen King. Even after imagining myself as Hermione in Harry Potter and well into my teenage years I would still find myself randomly grabbing those two books and reading the pages that influenced me so much when I was young. Reading this anthology brought me back to those books even though it’s been over a decade since I’ve read them. When I look back, those books are my anchors and I was lucky to be able to have those at such a young age.

    is a beautifully curated anthology. It reflects the vast differences that make up Black women’s experience with literature. From seeing representation at an early age, to discovering true representation later on in life, to questioning your view of society or sexuality or what it means to be a woman and Black. That’s what I love about this book. Not only is it filled with essays by woman I admire and respect but their vulnerability and honesty on the page is invigorating. The stories they chose to share, all inspired by a literary work or works that affected their lives, gives the reader an in depth look at their lived experiences. Each essay is beautifully written and so reflective on who they were while reading and how that has affected the woman they’ve become. So much growth within these pages.

    I really enjoyed this collection as a whole. I knew while reading that this is something I would want to adorn my shelves, something I would reflect on and read again in the future. It’s also a resource. Edim made a really smart decision by listing different types of books throughout this anthology. I will now have a curated list of books from different genres by Black women that I can read, which is something I hadn’t expected but was very glad to see. This anthology is something that I believe every well-read Black girl can relate to, because we’ve all had that moment when we’ve read a book that has changed us. It’s beautiful to read a book where other Black women are sharing their experiences as well. I give this 5 out of 5 stars.

    Thank you Netgalley for this book in exchange for an honest review.

  • Andre

    I love reading books about reading. It’s always inspiring to hear about what books loomed large in a person’s life. And it’s doubly exciting when those looking back are authors giving insight to the texts that spurred them to write their own stories. I also genuinely respect the way women are able to connect with one another in a way men can’t, (won’t?). It’s really something to see. I’m envious.

    Glory Edim has created a phenomenon that started with conversations around a tee shirt she was wearin

    I love reading books about reading. It’s always inspiring to hear about what books loomed large in a person’s life. And it’s doubly exciting when those looking back are authors giving insight to the texts that spurred them to write their own stories. I also genuinely respect the way women are able to connect with one another in a way men can’t, (won’t?). It’s really something to see. I’m envious.

    Glory Edim has created a phenomenon that started with conversations around a tee shirt she was wearing. Well Read Black Girl was the printed tee shirt message. That has turned into a popular presence on social media, a book festival and now this wonderful work. Kudos to Glory. “The essays in the following pages remind us of the magnificence of literature; how it can provide us with a vision of ourselves, affirm our talents, and ultimately help us narrate our own stories.”

    In overseeing this work a common theme is representation. Many women comment here on the lack of representation they felt, even years before they had the language to express that lack, that’s why books are important. That became almost a mantra for me as I read through these story essays. Often after reading someone’s testimony, I would silently say to myself, that’s why books are important! Jamia Wilson writes, “Nikki gave me a sense of place that was grounded in my experience as a black child during a time when it felt like most of the books in my school library represented everyone else but me.” She is referring to poet Nikki Giovanni. Books have been an anchor for some, a mirror for others, a crystal ball for a few. In all stories, books matter, words comfort, inspire. And this essay collection insures the clarity of that message and it is one you’ll want to share with others and also frequently return to for its strong references, not only in the various narratives but for the many book recommendations sprinkled through out the text.

    This passage from Rebecca Walker, is representative of the entire book, “I still and will always believe that representation of all kinds is essential. My work—the memoirs, anthologies, novels, television pilots, magazine articles—is just one long attempt to make sure that people from different backgrounds are seen and heard, especially people who are in some practical way challenging the status quo, and offering different interpretations of what it means to be a human being right now.” It is absolutely necessary to compile these types of essays to keep spreading the transformative power of literature. A tremendous win for Glory Edim to have her name at the helm of this collection that will be bandied about for years to come. Thanks to Netgalley and Ballantine Books for an advanced DRC. Book will drop Oct. 30, 2018.

  • Bree Hill

    One of those gems I’m grateful I picked up. This is a collection of black women sharing their stories of finding authors who inspired them to become writers and finding works where they finally saw characters who looked like them.

    I loved reading these ladies’ stories. Highly recommend the audiobook if you can get your hands on it. Also throughout the book are recommendations so have a paper and pen handy.

  • BookOfCinz

    What a brilliant collection of essays by black women. I love books about books, readers and writers and

    covered all three. I admire so many of the writers who contributed to this collection, it is no wonder I devoured this book because I wanted to know more about

    What a brilliant collection of essays by black women. I love books about books, readers and writers and

    covered all three. I admire so many of the writers who contributed to this collection, it is no wonder I devoured this book because I wanted to know more about them and who influenced their writing. So many of the things they made references to I felt:

    1. Growing up and reading books where the main character didn't look like them.

    2. Being readers, to the point where their parents forced them to go out and play

    3. I love how each could remember how fond they are of reading and when they first discovered a character that spoke to their soul.

    Glory Edim did an exceptional job of pulling together strong black women who are crushing it in their field. I loved reading about some of my favorite writer's background and the women who influenced them.

    Thoroughly enjoyed this collection

  • Cort

    3.25 Stars

    Seems appropriate that my first read of the year is #diversespines book of the month Well Read Black Girl by Glory Edim. I enjoyed this collection of essays that mirrored some of my own experiences growing up as a lover of books. I must say the two essays that stood out the most were Gabourey Sidibe’s “Gal: A Hard Row To Hoe” and N. K. Jemisin’s “Dreaming Awake.” They were both brutally honest and funny.

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