For Black History Month, I decided to read “Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America,” an anthology of short stories featuring Black characters. It is one I came across many times at the library, and I wanted to read it.
I am glad I did.
It is very rare that I like all of the short stories in a collection as much as I did these. All of these stories do a great job in showing facets of Black culture. There are few different stories that address the LGBTQ+ Black youth, as well as mental health issues. These are areas that aren’t talked about enough in the Black community, and it was great that these stories did.
I found myself relating to a lot of these stories. I grew up believing that I wasn’t “Black enough” because of the way I talked and my interests, and I felt so seen in this collection.
I am definitely going to read these again, and I am even going to make sure to read more works by all of the authors featured.
While I won’t review all of the stories in the collection, I did want to highlight a couple of the ones that resonated with me. I recommend visiting this link to learn more about some of the authors featured in the collection.
Oreo by Brandy Colbert
For most of my life, I have always felt distant from my family and other people in my neighborhood because of the interests I displayed and my voice. I was always told that I “acted so White” and “spoke so proper like a White girl.” This led to me distancing myself from my culture at a young age.
It wasn’t until I was in middle school that I was actually called an Oreo, someone who is Black on the outside, but White on the inside. This short story shows how those ideas and words can influence how people interact with others and the choices they make. While I’m proud of being nerdy and my voice, it took me a long time to fully connect those sides of me with my Black heritage and culture.
Half a Moon by Renée Watson
This short story addresses the disconnect between half-siblings. I have five brothers, but they are all my half-siblings. I never grew up with them, so there is that distance that is portrayed in this short story. The same emotions that the main character went through are similar ones I’ve experienced as well. However, that distance is soon bridged once the main character and her sister are able to bond.