Here For It by R. Eric Thomas
"Though we couldn't necessarily afford the resources that some of my classmates' families could, my parents used everything at their disposal to expand the walls of our bubble. They filled our home with new experiences and ideas; they took every opportunity to expose us to the worlds outside of our neighborhood; they told us about the things they couldn't yet show us. They crafted new spaces inside our minds and our imaginations just waiting to be filled up with our details and experiences. And I brought all of that to Park with me. I didn't always feel different. I think that's the point. Most of the time, I actually felt like I belonged there." (Here For It, by R. Eric Thomas)
Prior to reading Here For It by R. Eric Thomas I was not familiar with any of his work, but I love essays so thought I'd take a dive into what he had to offer. I initially was impressed by his take on the intersectionality of his life: being a Black gay man who grew up in a poor neighborhood, but somehow managed to find a thread of humor in all of it.
What I appreciate and grew to enjoy about this book was his ability to share society's impact on his life, but expose the audacity of some of the experiences through humor. His take on early activism, being based on his childhooh letter writing campaign to restore Lassie to the only TV channel he was allowed to watch was lighthearted, while his account of the first time he was called a nigger was definitely not. Albeit both stories transported you to the mentality of a child and how we would have recounted some of those traumas.
I recommend this book for those who love essays, but may be a bit overwhelmed to dive into the classic essayists of our time, or for those that in the midst of the B.S., just want to laugh a little. Even if the situations are not specifically funny, reading the 'oh no you didn't' moments once again serve as a unifier to remind us that we are not alone in this journey called life, regardless of what boxes we check.