BLACK ENOUGH by Ibi Zoboi
Kirkus Star

BLACK ENOUGH

Stories of Being Young & Black in America
edited by
Age Range: 12 - 18
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

A diverse and compelling fiction anthology that taps 17 established, rising star, and new #ownvoices talents.

Editor Zoboi (Pride, 2018, etc.) lays out the collection’s purpose: exploring black interconnectedness, traditions, and identity in terms of how they apply to black teens. Given that scope, that most stories are contemporary realistic fiction makes sense (Rita Williams-Garcia’s humorous “Whoa!” which dips into the waters of speculative fiction, is a notable exception). Conversely, the characters are incredibly varied, as are the narrative styles. Standouts include the elegant simplicity of Jason Reynolds’ “The Ingredients,” about a group of boys walking home from the swimming pool; Leah Henderson’s “Warning: Color May Fade,” about an artist afraid to express herself; the immediacy of Tracey Baptiste’s “Gravity,” about a #MeToo moment of self-actualization birthed from violation; Renee Watson’s reflection on family in “Half a Moon”; and the collection’s namesake, Varian Johnson’s “Black Enough,” which highlights the paradigm shift that is getting woke. In these stories, black kids are nerds and geeks, gay and lesbian, first gen and immigrants, outdoorsy and artists, conflicted and confused, grieving and succeeding, thriving and surviving—in short, they’re fully human. No collection could represent the entire spectrum of blackness, however, the presence of trans, Afro-Latinx, and physically disabled characters is missed: a clarion call for more authentic black-centric collections.

A breath of fresh air and a sigh of long overdue relief. Nuanced and necessary. (contributor biographies) (Anthology. 12-18)

Pub Date: Jan. 8th, 2019
ISBN: 978-0-06-269872-8
Page count: 416pp
Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 2018




SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

AdultFRESH INK by Lamar Giles
by Lamar Giles
ChildrenFLYING LESSONS & OTHER STORIES by Ellen Oh
by Ellen Oh
ChildrenEAT THE SKY, DRINK THE OCEAN by Kirsty Murray
by Kirsty Murray