Cover Image: Token Black Girl

Token Black Girl

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Member Reviews

As a Black woman living in America, I related so much. The relaxers, the clothes, the constant thoughts of being skinny like my white friends. And not to mention mom dark-skinned. I grew up in PW neighborhoods and schools, and I hated it. Trying to fit in knowing full well I never could. This book was soooo relatable. I loved how raw and honest Danielle was, giving insight into the fashion industry and how it felt being stereotyped at work. It’s something we Black women have to deal with on a daily basis.
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Very interesting memoir and personal account of a woman who grew up in a community where she was a minority and wanted to make a name for herself. The author faces many microagressions and has to reckon with her identity to herself and her identity to others. I think many people will resonate with this book and want to see the author journey and climb into some of the world's most cutthroat industry such as beauty and fashion. I think the memoir has a lot of heart, grit, and candor.
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I think it’s about to point out that a lot of what she says will come off more offensive if you’ve never experienced being the token black girl. Her story is important for a lot of girls/women who are struggling some of Danielle’s key points. I definitely was annoyed by some of her comments, but I had to extend grace be she took accountability for her past comments.
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Wow, this is a hard review to write, in fact, if it wasn't for receiving this ARC from Netgalley, I don't think I would feel qualified to write a review on this very personal memoir.
I will write about what I know -
The author has extensive experience in the companies she writes about.  I worked in the garment center in New York for over 30 years, starting out as a fit model, and Ms. Prescod's account of the fashion industry is spot on.  I was never discriminated against, but racial bias and body shaming is definitely there.  The fashion "rules" she states are unspoken, but everybody knows them.
Also true is the "work family" theory, where employees are made to feel guilty about having personal boundaries and taking days off.
This book is very well written, it was compelling to read and I will buy it to give someone else.
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Great read! I related so much to the pressures fashion girlies put on their bodies, and appreciated the window into Danielle's life growing up the Token Black Girl in an affluent white suburb. I followed Danielle for a few years prior to reading, but I think this is a memoir that will move you regardless of whether you know her previous work.
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A a girl that grew up in a world very similarly to the author's, this book is everything that I wanted and needed and I'm sad it took me this long to read it. I think that this a book that the world needs to understand children of color that don't grow up in the stereotypically world that most people expect them too. It is a story that I have not been able to tell and glad that I can now say to someone read this book and you will be to understand me a bit better.
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"I existed outside my friends’ narrow view of what it meant to be Black. I had done all the things literally required of me in handbooks and dress codes to effectively stamp out the characteristics of my Blackness, but I was still visibly Black. And that visibility was an asset to white people as long as I was willing to appear on their terms."

After reading just a few pages of this memoir, I knew that it would cause an uproar in the Black community. Prescod holds absolutely nothing back when recounting her life as a "token Black girl" and the things she talks about having done and thought are not always positive. From the few reviews I've read on this memoir, I see that a lot of Black readers have a big problem with how Prescod presented her life and experiences. I won't touch on that too much here, but what I'd like to remind those reviewers of is the oft-repeated--and true-- phrase "Blackness is not a monolith". It rubs me the wrong way that Prescod is not given the room or grace to share her experiences, even though those experiences may be negative or not respectable. I think that Prescod does a great job of calling herself out--I don't see the need for readers to do it as well and criticize things that are clearly addressed in the memoir by Prescod herself. Change is a process, and Prescod has done more than enough to prove to her readers that she is undertaking it. I think that readers--in this case Black readers--often want to see Black people/characters portrayed as above board to combat stereotypes that hound us in everyday life and media, but that shouldn't apply to a person's life, especially when that person has shown that yes, they are flawed and have made mistakes that have caused harm to themselves and others, but clearly state to us how far they've come. It's okay to admit your mistakes, and I don't think that Prescod was glorifying anything that she's done. We as readers and members of the Black community should give her the grace to do that.

All in all, I enjoyed how candid Prescod was in this memoir. She was scathing in her critiques of herself, the fashion industry, and the media, and I think this memoir will pave the way for real change within the fashion industry and in the Black community. I hope she continues to be honest and real and open, and I look forward to what she has to say in the future.
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4+ stars

I have some conflicting feelings about this book, and part of that is because I shouldn’t have read a bunch of reviews before starting to read it myself. Another part is that I didn’t realize how much of the story would focus on the writer’s disordered eating, body image issues, and fatphobia. A lot of the time, I did enjoy exploring the protagonist’s experiences and perspectives; I feel like I didn’t always like her and some of the things she said/thought/did, but maybe that’s not totally fair (or even super relevant?). I don’t think it’s necessary for a woman to be “likeable” in order to tell a compelling story, nor is my sometimes finding her irritating or less likeable automatically an indicator of anything beyond my own personal experiences; basically, I’m still working through my own feelings about specific elements of the text. I appreciated the writer’s honesty and reflection, and I’m glad I got to read her story. I enjoyed some of the discussions about race, gender, and identity, even if I don’t think I was the best audience for other pieces of the book. Overall, it was an interesting read that I was glad to experience.
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Absolutely loved this! This is such a timely and eye opening read that I would highly recommend to anyone.
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This is a well written memoir that Infeel I learned a lot from. As a middle aged white Karen I have very little in common with the author and a lot of un earned privilege and yet I found it relatable. The author felt like a friend , and I felt for the things she had to endure solely because of the colour of her skin and I could otherwise relate to the societal pressure to appear and act a certain way and that unending desire to fit in,. It also offers a neat glimpse into the world of NYC, fashion and publishing.
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I found this is an interesting memoir of a coming of age account provided by a young black female  teen growing up in predominantly white spaces. An interesting text which can be incorporated into teaching black feminism, and intersectionality as well as race and gender studies. I would recommend it to lecturers of women studies, and feminist courses.
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Token Black Girl is an immersive memoir that describes the author's life, from her childhood to her adult life in the fashion/media industry. As a white woman, parts of the memoir were quite relatable to me, and other parts were eye-opening. Danielle was very frank and introspective about how her childhood as one of the few Black girls in her private school helped to instill her low self worth, which led to the eating disorder that she's struggled with for much of her life. The author's clearly grown and worked on her self confidence, which is quite inspiring. She also gives an in depth view of her experiences in the fashion industry, many of which were sadly negative. Hopefully the fashion industry will continue to change with the times, and the unrealistic beauty expectations that are placed into women will be further challenged as time goes on. This memoir is definitely worth the read in my opinion.
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3.5 stars --- I hadn't heard of Danielle Prescod before reading this memoir and I think she delivers a lot of uncomfortable, but important, truths about the role the fashion industry plays in encouraging and upholding white supremacy in America --- through explicitly stated ideals of beauty and many more micro-aggressions and racist actions that get swept under the rug across the industry. 

Danielle was searingly honest about her upbringing and her desires to fit into her predominantly-white community, actions that were reinforced by family, friends, school administrators. 

Her parallel discussions about trying to achieve the ideal body through disordered eating were brutal and raw -- if you suffer from or are in recovery from an eating disorder, they may be triggering for you.
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Danielle's walk through life as a black girl in a white world was relatable and moving. Much like me, the author had to push through racism and adjust to white gaze writing and the media messaging black girls her age have had to put up with quietly. Working in fashion is particularly hard as a black women due to most of it not being made for us, yet Danielle moves through it with such grace. I thoroughly enjoyed this read. 

Thank you NetGalley and Little A.
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I’ve followed Danielle on instagram for years, always enjoyed her fashion content and her outspokenness on issues of racism in the industry, and later also fatphobia and size inclusivity in fashion. 	
	I thought this was very well written. I was engaged and finished the book within a few days, but there is a lot packed in this book - she really uncovers and examines the way her being Black in a mostly white environment impacted her and the way she lived her life, the way she thought the had to be. It is heartbreaking, reading about her as a young girl, already not feeling good about her own body because of white, eurocentric body standards. There was so much vulnerability and honesty within this book, and it seems like it took a lot of self-reflection (and therapy, as she says) for this to have come out - and I mean that in the best way. 
	There were snippets where she mentioned a celebrity doing a specific thing - like the Kardashians lying about their plastic surgery - and critiqued them, and I think it would be really interesting to see an essay collection from her more focused about these topics and the fashion industry.
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Token Black Girl is a fascinating memoir by Danielle Prescod, the Style Director of BET and co-founder of 2BG Consulting, which aims to shed light on the role of white supremacy in the fashion industry. Prescod's memoir begins in her childhood and discusses her role as the token Black girl in her friendships at a primarily white, elite school. She then follows her trajectory into college and then her career in the fashion industry, talking openly about her struggles with eating disorders and the pressure in fashion settings to be, ideally, white, and, at least, thin. A fascinating look at race and size in fashion. I deeply appreciated Prescod's candor and vulnerability and enjoyed her memoir a lot!

** Thanks so much to NetGalley, Danielle Prescod, and Little A for this ARC! Token Black Girl is available now (and it's on Kindle Unlimited!) **
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Blunt perspective on how it feels to be a black woman growing up in a predominantly white society. She speaks about the difficulties of her identity when pop culture is also predominantly white.  This is also fantastic for those who want to see the world through someone else’s eyes so hopefully some empathy can be gained.
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Former BET style editor Prescod explores the racism prevalent in the style and beauty industries in this eye-opening memoir. Using her childhood experiences growing up in an affluent white suburb and her work as both a fashion and beauty editor as references, she examines how the "white, blond, blue-eyed, super-skinny girl" standard set by a society as the attainable for beauty perpetuated racism, while also harming Black girls with unrealistic goals for beauty. 

Prescod doesn't sugarcoat her experiences or her choices--she knew she was an acolyte of this stereotype, but that only came later when she was older and able to assess how it damaged both her behavior and society as a whole. Her inability to speak up and fight back against stereotypes of beauty and her place as the "token Black girl," led to binge drinking and an eating disorder, which she details openly and honestly here. She also speaks to her own treatment of other people, which helped feed into the stereotypes and toxic culture.

I loved how she examined it on a personal level with honesty, while also shining a spotlight on society's systemic issues with racism in beauty and style. This book is an enlightening nonfiction choice for people who want to learn more about not only the industry and its ills, but about the exerpeince of a Black woman whose open and honest about her struggles and the systemic issues that caused her and Black women in general harm. Great read!

Is everything fixed in 2022. Absolutely not. But progress HAS been made and is continuing. Prescod's intelligent, smart, and immersive
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An interesting read. I related with a lot of the things said in this novel. Thank you for this arc. I was unsure of whether I would like it or no, but found it really great.
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I loved the insight into the fashion industry written by a person of color, in Token Black Girl. I appreciated the descriptions of the author's upbringing in mostly white Connecticut, as well as her struggles with specific areas of being black. The author didn't hold back on exposing the racism inherent in the fashion industry, a great insider's memoir.
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