Girl gurl grrrl On womanhood and belonging in the age of black girl magic

Kenya Hunt

Book - 2020

Black women have never been more visible or more publicly celebrated than they are now. But for every new milestone, the reality of everyday life for black women remains a complex, conflicted, contradiction-laden experience. Hunt, an American journalist who has been living and working in London for a decade, takes the difficult and the indefinable and makes it accessible. Here she illuminates our current cultural moment-- and transcends it. In creating a timeless celebration of womanhood, of bla...ckness, and the possibilities they both contain, she blends the popular and the personal in a collection that truly reflects what it is to be living and thriving as a black woman today. -- adapted from jacket

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Subjects
Genres
Essays
Published
New York, NY : Amistad, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers [2020]
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
249 pages ; 24 cm
ISBN
9780062987648
006298764X
Main Author
Kenya Hunt (author)
Other Authors
Funmi Fetto (-), Ebele Okobi, Jessica Horn, Freddie Harrel, Candice Carty-Williams, 1989-
  • Girl
  • Notes on woke
  • Wakanda forever
  • An American in London
  • In my feelings
  • Sally Hemings and hidden figures
  • Upon reflection /
  • Funmi Fetto
  • Motherhood
  • Skinfolk
  • Make yourself at home, but not here
  • I see black people
  • Loss /
  • Ebele Okobi
  • So we don't die tomorrow /
  • Jessica Horn
  • The Lord's house, a queen's soul
  • Inferno
  • Just for me /
  • Freddie Harrel
  • The front row
  • Modern activism
  • On Queenie /
  • Candice Carty-Williams
  • Bad bitches.
Review by Booklist Reviews

The word girl has multiple meanings between Black women, depending on the inflection of tone. In this collection of essays, American journalist Hunt examines the contemporary plight of Black womanhood, both in the U.S. and in London, where she has spent the last 10 years. She grapples with the cultural term Black Girl Magic, which originated on social media to celebrate Black women but has also deepened the expectations for them to excel. In 5 of the 20 essays, Hunt taps other Black women to share their journeys with beauty, hair, survival, grief at the hands of police officers, and the admission of not having it all together. The book truly shines in the moments where Hunt shares her personal experiences of motherhood, her successful career, and those times she lifted as she climbed. Her writing is conversational, yet impactful. The span of the book makes readers feel like they're catching up with an old friend while gaining an insightful education on the complicated ways modern Black women move throughout the world.Women in Focus: The 19th in 2020 Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Journalist Hunt writes an excellent collection of essays sharing her experiences and perspectives as a Black woman growing up in the United States; as an expat living in London; and as a writer, speaker, and commentator in media and fashion. Her essays probe the iconic phrase #BlackGirlMagic and what it means to experience life and media today as a Black woman. Standout essays candidly explore topics such as pregnancy loss, religion, and police violence, as well as major media events. Peppered throughout the volume are a handful of essays by other women who share their stories of success, resilience, vulnerability, and tragedy. If there is one tone that ties the book together, it is reflection. Both Hunt and the additional contributors bring a thoughtfulness to their narratives that leads the reader to pause and reflect as well. The final chapter, "The Way We Grieve," profoundly reflects on the emotional toll of repeatedly grieving Black people who become hashtags. VERDICT This thought-provoking collection of ruminations from Black women on how they thrive and struggle in the complex world today is particularly relevant to this moment but will remain an important text for years to come.—Sarah Schroeder, Univ. of Washington Bothell Copyright 2020 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Hunt, deputy editor of the fashion magazine Grazia UK, debuts with a rich collection of personal essays about her life and career. Reflecting on her experiences as an African American woman in the U.K., Hunt lets readers follow along as she attends the U.K. premiere of Black Panther, confronts the coded racism of Airbnb owners, and reports on the 2017 Grenfell Tower fire, the U.K.'s worst residential fire since WWII. To trace the beginnings of her fascination with fashion, Hunt recalls hearing her aunt describe attending the Ebony Fashion Fair, a "traveling catwalk expo," in Virginia, and the encouragement Hunt received early on in her career from Bethann Hardison, one of the first high-profile Black models and an early activist for industry diversity. Celebrating girl as "the root word in the unique love language between Black woman," Hunt invites some of the friends she's made in the U.K. to contribute guest essays, including fashion blogger Freddie Harrel, who riffs on braiding as a female bonding ritual, and Queenie author Candice Carty-Williams, who describes becoming the first Black woman to win a British Book Award. Hunt's work will broaden perspectives and inspire readers. Agent: Kate Evans, Peters Frasers Dunlop. (Nov.) Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

"From the Deputy Editor of Elle UK, a provocative and humorous collection of essays on what it means to be black, a woman, a mother and a global citizen in today's ever-changing world"--

Review by Publisher Summary 2

The award-winning Grazia UK fashion director presents an evocative anthology of essays celebrating the timeless, thriving potential of being a Black woman, mother and global citizen in today’s dynamic world. 50,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

A People Pick!'One of the year's must-reads.' 'ELLE'[A] provocative, heart-breaking, and frequently hilarious collection.' 'GLAMOUR'Essential, vital, and urgent.' 'HARPER's BAZAARIn the vein of Roxane Gay's Bad Feminist and Issa Rae's The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, but wholly its own, a provocative, humorous, and, at times, heartbreaking collection of essays on what it means to be black, a woman, a mother, and a global citizen in today's ever-changing world.Black women have never been more visible or more publicly celebrated than they are now. But for every new milestone, every magazine cover, every box office record smashed, every new face elected to public office, the reality of everyday life for black women remains a complex, conflicted, contradiction-laden experience. An American journalist who has been living and working in London for a decade, Kenya Hunt has made a career of distilling moments, movements, and cultural moods into words. Her work takes the difficult and the indefinable and makes it accessible; it is razor sharp cultural observation threaded through evocative and relatable stories.Girl Gurl Grrrl both illuminates our current cultural moment and transcends it. Hunt captures the zeitgeist while also creating a timeless celebration of womanhood, of blackness, and the possibilities they both contain. She blends the popular and the personal, the frivolous and the momentous in a collection that truly reflects what it is to be living and thriving as a black woman today.  

Review by Publisher Summary 4

A People Pick!“One of the year’s must-reads.” –ELLE“[A] provocative, heart-breaking, and frequently hilarious collection.” –GLAMOUR“Essential, vital, and urgent.” –HARPER’S BAZAARIn the vein of Roxane Gay’s Bad Feminist and Issa Rae’s The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, but wholly its own, a provocative, humorous, and, at times, heartbreaking collection of essays on what it means to be black, a woman, a mother, and a global citizen in today's ever-changing world.Black women have never been more visible or more publicly celebrated than they are now. But for every new milestone, every magazine cover, every box office record smashed, every new face elected to public office, the reality of everyday life for black women remains a complex, conflicted, contradiction-laden experience. An American journalist who has been living and working in London for a decade, Kenya Hunt has made a career of distilling moments, movements, and cultural moods into words. Her work takes the difficult and the indefinable and makes it accessible; it is razor sharp cultural observation threaded through evocative and relatable stories.Girl Gurl Grrrl both illuminates our current cultural moment and transcends it. Hunt captures the zeitgeist while also creating a timeless celebration of womanhood, of blackness, and the possibilities they both contain. She blends the popular and the personal, the frivolous and the momentous in a collection that truly reflects what it is to be living and thriving as a black woman today.