In the bestselling tradition of Sloan Crosley’s I Was Told There’d Be Cake and Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, a collection of humorous essays on what it’s like to be unabashedly awkward in a world that regards introverts as hapless misfits, and black as cool.
My name is “J” and I’m awkward—and black. Someone once told me those were the two worst things anyone could be. That someone was right. Where do I start?
Being an introvert in a world that glorifies cool isn’t easy. But when Issa Rae, the creator of the Shorty Award–winning hit series “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl,” is that introvert—whether she’s navigating love, work, friendships, or “rapping”—it sure is entertaining. Now, in this debut collection of essays written in her witty and self-deprecating voice, Rae covers everything from cybersexing in the early days of the Internet to deflecting unsolicited comments on weight gain, from navigating the perils of eating out alone and public displays of affection to learning to accept yourself—natural hair and all.
A reflection on her own unique experiences as a cyber pioneer yet universally appealing, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl is a book no one—awkward or cool, black, white, or other—will want to miss.
“Being an introvert in a world that glorifies cool isn’t easy.”
I remember sitting in an airport a few months ago while waiting to board a flight to Houston and I decided to start this book and I am so happy that I did. In the past I watched a few episodes of Issa’s show on YouTube so I was quite interested in learning more about her as a woman. I will say without a doubt that she is one of the few humans living on this planet that is completely honest with her self-esteem issues and it is all done with humor.
“Food is my destination, my journey, my reward, my friend – if only my metabolism matched that of the skinny, crackhead-bodied girls of my high school. How lucky they were!”
See, what she just did here??? We all love food, but we are brainwashed by the media that we shouldn’t admit it. Issa has no problem admitting just how much she loved to eat but she infused some humor in there as well. This is pretty much the tone of the book.
While most of the book has humorous undertones, there are sections that are quite serious. As a black woman, here is my favorite passage from the book:
“I love being black; that’s not a problem. The problem is that I don’t want to always talk about it because honestly, talking about being “black” is extremely tiring. I don’t know how Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson do it. I know why Cornel West and Tavis Smiley do it. They love the attention and the groupies. But the rest of these people who talk, think and breathe race every single day – how? Just how? Aren’t they exhausted?”
I swear it is like Issa knows some of my innermost thoughts! And, with her not being afraid to share her perspective on things such as food, lotion, hair, and black leaders it allows some of us to know we aren’t alone in what goes through our brain. The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl is nothing short of brilliant. It will make you laugh out loud, it will make you think, and it will help make you feel more comfortable sharing your innermost thoughts because you now know you are not alone!