Cover Image: Girl Gurl Grrrl

Girl Gurl Grrrl

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Member Reviews

I really enjoyed this unapologetically Black memoir and how it detailed her life in the UK where people feel as if racism isn’t as bad over there. My favorite chapter was the one on Motherhood as I’ve always taken a strong interest in Black maternal health. I love her quote usage to prove her point from Audre Lorde, Toni Morrison and other prolific Black authors. I love all the topics she touched on since I experience a lot of the same stuff as a Black woman navigating this world. The book was well written and I’d recommend it to others.
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Girl Gurl Grrrl: On Womanhood and Belonging in the Age of Black Girl Magic by Kenya Hunt is a case of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. And make no mistake, the parts are very good.

I'll try to explain what I mean by that comment. Like any collection of essays (of which a few are written by others) there will be some that are stronger than others or speak to the reader more. This is no different, though there wasn't, for me, any bad or even borderline essay, just some that spoke to me more while reading than others. I phrased that last part the way I did intentionally. How we read it, what it stirs or doesn't stir, is largely a function of what the reader brings and the writer's style. What I find, especially in a collection that speaks to current events and social justice, is that how it sticks with me is more important than how I felt while reading it. And that is where I think this book excels and also why I consider the whole (the reading and the impact after reading) is greater than the sum of its parts (the collection of essays).

I am not a woman and while I have some indigenous heritage I have essentially lived as a white, so anything I could somewhat relate to was either through a "similar to..." type exercise or remembering a friend mentioning something similar about how they feel or what they experienced. So I am not the target audience even though I imagine that I am the type of reader that can learn the most from the book. And learn I did even if it was/is at times uncomfortable (as it should be) and on a couple of occasions talking with friends who can more easily relate and asking questions (yeah, some of them were stupid questions, but they usually elicited the best answers).

I highly recommend this to readers who can either directly relate or want to better understand our current political and cultural environment. These should be read not just with an open mind but while bracketing one's preconceived ideas and privileges. Read to understand, not argue or refute. You shouldn't be doing those things before understanding anyway or you're just debating your own strawmen.

Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via NetGalley.
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BOOK REVIEW. Thanks to @amistadbooks , I was able to read Kenya Hunt’s essay collection “Girl Gurl Grrrl”. While most of the essays are penned by her, there are some interesting collaborations with other Black writers. Fans of Queenie will be delighted to learn about how this great bestseller personally influenced Candice Carty-Williams personality post-publishing. 

My particular favorites were Girl, Notes on Woke, Motherhood and Skinfolk. Though written for Black women, as a BIPOC I could definitely relate to some of the sentiments expressed there and her experience as a person of color in a racialized America, and I feel that I learned a valuable lesson on reclaiming language that speaks to my identity, rather than trying to adapt white-sponsored “woke” terminology. 

The book will be out in December, 2020. And it makes an interesting addition to our antiracist stacks.
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