Cover Image: Token Black Girl

Token Black Girl

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Member Reviews

I initially loved this book, it felt raw and real and Danielle's honesty was at times heartwrenching. However, as we delve deeper into her journey, she is sometimes brutally honest, and at times, it made me shake my head. At the same time, I found that some parts of the book dragged a bit and that there were instances where she basically said the same thing differently a few paragraphs later.

I connected a lot with her wanting to fit in and being a visible minority - at times, one of the only ones in a predominantly white community. Her discussions about the media, school curriculum and how this impacts us all were interesting and timely. I related to the fact that blonde and blue-eyed was her ideal. I, too, held this ideal, and these parts were where I felt the most seen.

Danielle discusses how the negative representations of Black communities contributed to and upheld her internalized anti-Black racism, and I found this especially interesting when she talked about not being accepted by Black peers because of how she moulded herself to fit into her white school and the broader community. I also found it interesting how she talks about her upper-class wealthy status but doesn't dive deep into the intersections of race and class. There are some instances where I believe her assertions were impacted by this status, and I felt this discussion could've contributed a lot of insight.

Overall, this was a deeply moving memoir that provides many insights into what it's like to be the Token Black Girl. I also learned a lot about different areas that affect Black girls/women that I never thought a lot about - like the discussion around natural hair. I appreciated learning about different facets that impact Black identity and how the media contributes to internalized racism. This book felt raw, real and almost always kept me engaged.
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I did not finish this title. The story of a Black girl growing up in a white environment is pretty familiar, and I didn't feel like Prescod added anything original to the genre so to speak. That is not to say her experiences aren't valid, because they are and are shared by many, but it doesn't add to the many memoirs and autobiographies already out there.
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After following Danielle Prescod on Instagram for a couple years, I was really interested to read this memoir and get to know more about her story. Written in her signature honest, relatable and enlightening style, Danielle shares her experiences growing up as the Token Black Girl in a predominantly white environment, as well as working in the white-dominated fashion world. Prescod relates various insightful observations about the inherent racism and sexism within the fashion/beauty industry, while not shying away from her own perceived "meanness" and bad behaviour. 
I highly recommend this book, it is an illuminating depiction of what so many marginalized people experience while trying to break into white dominated industries. 
Thank you to NetGalley and Little A for the advanced copy.
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3.5-4 stars

This was a very well-written memoir. For a young Black woman growing up in a predominantly white area of the country, surrounded by whitewashed media, and then assimilating into a overwhelmingly white profession, it came as no surprise that Danielle was shaped by the world around her. She is brutally honest with how her identity was negatively impacted, and it broke my heart to see her go to such extremes with self-destructive behaviors.

While I agreed with her on much of what was said throughout this memoir, there were times where I thought her opinion was reaching a bit to fit her narrative. Branding Blake Lively as racist because she got married on a former plantation and labeling an entire industry (that she continued to work in for years) as white supremacist are bold statements. There’s no doubt that racism is alive and well within this country, and it has unfortunately weaseled its way into almost every aspect of our lives, but the further I got into this memoir, the more it felt like she was going off on bitter tangents and it quickly drew attention away from the importance of the topic at hand.

Overall, I think this book was worth reading, and it sheds light on a subject that definitely needs to be addressed and more openly discussed. I would also be interested in reading more about Danielle’s current work in aiding fashion and beauty brands on their anti-racism journeys because this wasn’t really mentioned, and considering this is her memoir, it seems it would be pertinent to her story.

*Thank you to NetGalley and Little A for providing a copy of this book to review.*
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If you enjoy coming-of-age memoirs, you need to read this compelling memoir about growing up Black in a predominately white wealthy community (and later working in mostly white establishments). Prescod is at times funny, heartbreaking, and always engaging. 

Many thanks to Little A and NetGalley for a digital review copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the advance copy. I have been following Prescod on Instagram for several years and I have always appreciated her voice there. That candid voice is also present in this memoir and I really enjoyed reading more about her childhood and her experiences in the fashion industry. I especially appreciated her honesty in detailing mistakes she has made and regrets she has in feeding into fatphobia and white supremacist systems. So many people are not willing to admit they have been less than perfect and I love this about Danielle and the stories she has chosen to share in this book. I will definitely be recommending this one.
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An interesting memoir. I try to read all different kinds of biographies to grasp a better insight into other people’s lives and upbringing.
The author posits many opinions as fact, which I don’t necessarily agree with,
Nonetheless, it’s an enterprising read.
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I’ve followed Danielle for years on Twitter and was so excited to learn more about her. This memoir started off strong, but unfortunately fell a little flat as it progressed. Prescod has a strong voice and the theme of being the “Token Black Girl” is thoroughly thought out and well executed chapter after chapter. The mix of essay style and social commentary with personal anecdotes was unique from other memoirs I’ve read. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Little A for the advanced copy.
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A very compelling and well-written memoir, Token Black Girl is Danielle Prescod's story of being Black, both growing up in a majorly white town and school, as well as in the fashion industry in NYC. The stories that she shares are all interesting and well-written and are very well curated. They share really important lessons and outlooks about the world that I'm glad I read. Highly recommend this book for anyone who needs some eye-opening content about what it means to be Black in specifically the fashion industry and more generally in a very white-centric world.
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Really great book! Intriguing and thought provoking. Thanks for the advanced copy. Truly enjoyed this read.
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A beautiful book about coming of age and fighting for racial equality. Beautiful written too.Well done Danielle!!
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Token Black Girl by Danielle Prescod was a great read! I was really impressed by how Ms. Prescod described her childhood and explained growing up black in an elite (white) private school.  The pressure she felt to fit in, to conform to a standard that was not her own, to essentially change, code switch, and manipulate herself to feel accepted by her age-range peers just because she was the only black girl in a sea of white girls was extraordinary to read.  And then her college and professional life was really telling.  I will be honest, I started reviewing my own childhood and adulthood and thinking if I ever made expectations of friends to either conform or adopt a certain way of being just because of who I expected them to be.  This book has definitely made me more aware of those who are living black in white society (because let's be honest, it is a thing within itself in the middle/upper middle/elite world...) and the pains they go through just to be "accepted" when they shouldn't have to be.  This is definitely something that everyone needs to read in order to understand the black experience in the world of white superiority (whether or not they *believe* in white superiority...)
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This was an experience far out of my own comfort zone--I'm a white woman and know nothing about the fashion world--and I am so glad I got to read this ARC.
The author describes her affluent upbringing and how difficult it was for her to fit into the white private schools she attended, and then her career in the fashion world and how hard it was to fit into that white world.  She describes the results on her psyche, her body image, her resulting eating disorder, and it is wrenching to read.  She honestly points out the racism she has had to fight against constantly, even when she didn't really feel confident saying what it was, and confesses all the terrible results of trying to please everyone, be perfect, be accepted.  I hope this book starts conversations about racism and body image.
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In this memoir, Danielle describes how growing up in a wealthy, predominantly white community made her struggle with her blackness and thereby, try to do anything to assimilate. This included avoiding swimming lessons so as to not ruin her straightened hair, consuming the same media as her friends, and in doing so, not black media, and taking the role of the Token Black Girl when required.

Later in life, she began working in the fashion industry and found a new way to assimilate by developing an eating disorder and becoming as small as possible. During this time, she embraces the ruthlessness the industry had used on her, but she also stops having as much patience with her racist colleagues, rightfully calling out the toxic workplaces she was in.

Overall, it was an incredibly well-written journey through her experiences and growth but I wish she would've gone more in depth about the role class and wealth played in her life since at times she came across a bit tone-deaf.
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Incredible book! The writing is highly engaging and interesting. The author did an incredible job at making her story relatable for all readers, yet highlighting the extra barriers she faced due to her race. This is a book that will stay with me and has broadened my understanding of the world.
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Really interesting to read and find out about what it’s like to be a black girl in a white community. I think it’s the type of book that lots of people need to read, one that should be compulsory reading, perhaps. As someone of white heritage I can’t discuss the accuracy or relate to Danielle’s feelings, but it did give me a lot of insight 
, and for that I am great full.
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Thanks to NetGalley and Little A for this Review Copy of Token Black Girl by Danielle Prescod.

3.5 stars (rounded up to 4) for Token Black Girl. The best way to sum up my feelings on Danielle Prescod’s memoir is with that meme that’s a screenshot of an old Facebook report option for hiding images: “I’m in this photo and I don’t like it.”

As a mixed girl growing up in a glaringly white part of NYC, I definitely know and connect with the feeling of being everyone’s “token black girl,” which is exactly why I picked up this book. I was not expecting so much of Prescod’s memoir to focus on her struggle with body image and eating disorders, something I have also dealt with from a very young age and am unfortunately still battling as I approach 30. It was difficult to read her story at times, but very real. Danielle is incredibly honest, perhaps to a fault, and I appreciate that. There were moments where she came off a bit cold but ya know what, who hasn’t? It all contributed to how forthcoming she was with her journey. Her critiques of the fashion world were really nuanced, which I so appreciate it and want to hear more of.

Overall, Token Black Girl is a wonderful book for women of color coming of age in the 80s/90s/2000s, as well as anyone interested in the fashion/magazine publishing world. Even when i found TBG difficult to read, it was only because I saw so much of myself in every page. I look forward to following more of Danielle Prescod’s career!
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I followed Danielle for years and really enjoyed hearing her story. She is witty, honest and so candid. I highly recommend this book.
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Token Black Girl touches on so many points I think a lot of Black girls will relate to. There’s also a uniqueness to Danielle’s point of view that a lot of us won’t relate to, and that’s ok. This is the story of her experience and opinions. 

I always love a chance to hear first person accounts of the behind the scenes of careers in media/entertainment/beauty, so I particularly liked the parts about her experience in the fashion industry.
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✊🏿BOOK REVIEW✊🏿

Danielle Prescod examines her life as a black woman growing up in a white world from life as a teen through to being a fashion magazine employee and editor. Policing of black women’s bodies, hair, moods and temperament feature heavily in this book that takes a deep dive into the fashion industry, the influence of media. If you were around in the 90s to 00s era you will relate to much portrayed about the media messaging to our generation.

I personally loved the author’s ability to examine deeply internalised Racism, and the effects on her mental health and relationships with others, some of which was very relatable as a POC, others which have made me a better ally to the black community. She points out the faults of white supremacy and it’s prevalence in our daily lives and workplaces while vulnerably and gracefully admitting her mistakes along the way. Fashion lovers in particular will love this one for others it may feel repetitive.

(strong TW for eating disorders).
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