Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America Edited by Ibi Zoboi

17 stories featuring young people of color of differing socioeconomic backgrounds living all over the country. These coming-of-age stories feature conflicts dealing with themes such as sexuality, education, and love, while always holding onto a strong connection to history and family. Yet, these narratives also discuss issues inherently connected to people of color: skin color, ancestry, immigrant pressures, cultures of music/ clothing/ entertainment.  An anthology is a perfect vehicle to present so many important ideas and voices. The stories in Black Enough will make you laugh, cry, and most of all, appreciate the position of those young people who are entering into the scary world of adulthood.

Every story is a gem, but here are a couple that stand out:

Varian Johnson’s Black Enough tells the story of a young black man from a wealthy suburb whose relationship with a young woman wanes because of his limited focus on social and racial justice.

Leah Johnson’s Warning: Color May Fade poses the question of generational success in the black community. As a second-generation college student, does Niv need to study subjects that are deemed acceptable to her parents to warrant “black” success?

Wild Horses, Wild Hearts by Jay Coles tackles race, sexuality, and love in a narrative about small town life. Two young men, one white and one African-American, are to compete in a horse race that could bring great recognition to each family, yet their new-found attraction makes the race that much more conflicting.

This collection is NOW. It is the world we live in from some of the best voices of fiction. Black Enough would be a welcome addition to any upper level high school or college English class. A book that reaches out to audiences with characters and views that are necessary to be heard.

5 out of 5 stars

Releases on Jan 8th.

Thank you to Megan Beatie Communications, Harper Collins, Ibi Zoboi, and the many authors included in this work for an advanced copy for review.

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