Tuesday, December 05, 2023

Ten memoirs and essay collections by Black women

Alicia Simba is a writer and educator living and working in Oakland, California. She has been published in Teen Vogue, Slate, Blavity, and more, and runs a weekly substack titled "an education." She is a graduate of Barnard College and Stanford University.

At Electric Lit Simba tagged ten "memoirs and personal essay collections released in the past ten years [that] exemplify [the] growing urgency by Black women to tell our side of the story." One title on the list:
Men We Reaped: A Memoir by Jesmyn Ward

Within a four-year time span, two-time National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward saw the deaths of five Black men in her life, including that of her brother. She chronicles their lives, alongside her own, of growing up in Mississippi and the history of racial violence that surrounds around them. “Hopefully, I’ll understand why my brother died while I live,” Ward writes, ”and why I’ve been saddled with this rotten fucking story.” Her journey of reflection is one of grief, anger, and guilt, all buoyed ultimately by the love that comes through of her family and the home that raised her.
Read about another entry on the list.

Men We Reaped is among Maggie Laurel Boyd's nine titles that rethink our narratives about health & healing and Matthew Gavin Frank’s eleven books featuring flying things.

--Marshal Zeringue