Badass Black Girl by M.J. Fievre
"Most of us have some idea of when or how we will better enjoy life ("When I get this job!" Or "If I get married"), which actually prevents us from being happy, because we're just putting off the joy we could be feeling right now...the past and the future are largely out of our reach. In order to enjoy yourself right now, stop paying too much attention to what was and what could be, and learn to take advantage of what's all around you this minute." (Badass Black Girl, M.J. Fievre)
I approached this read of my YA selection for the week, questioning if I would recommend it for a young reader in my life? However, truthfully, there are more than a few adult women that need to read this book. I wish Badass Black Girl by M.J. Fievre existed when I was younger, because it does self-help for Black girls excellently.
This book does a solid job of providing historical and social context to the expectations and limitations to success, but offers the encouragement and support as well as structure, necessary to create personalized plans for the future. One highlight of how this is accomplished is through their laying a historical reference of Black women who were equally badass through their trailblazer sections interwoven throughout the book. The great thing about that, is it isn't just the typical sheroes we've heard of time and again, there are also some lesser known women of distinction.
The author does a great job of offering encouragement through affirmations, but also makes this a workbook of sorts, asking questions that probe deeper critical thought about systemic issues, even going as far as to ask the reader to "google it", establishing the habit of finding your own answers, which is equally empowering.
A lot of the doubts about the future, that many of us adults have been forced to reckon with and examine are explored through reflection, projection, and planning exercises such as the What Have You Done Well in the Past? chapter that asks Black girls to travel back to the past and think about the moments that gave us great pleasure, and explore those feelings in effort to attach them to a skill set, that could open up all of life's possibilities for us. It isn't a generic solution to common issues, the work is focused on personalization. And the icing on the cake is the artwork is gorgeous; featuring illustrations and photographs of Black girls with varied hair textures, styles, nose shapes and lip sizes.
Truth: I love this book for Black girls, but I'm reading it for myself because there is always room to be a little more Badass!