Audiobook Review: Slay in Your Lane Presents: Loud Black Girls

Authors, Contributors, Narrators: Yomi Adegoke (Author, Narrator), Elizabeth Uviebinené (Author, Narrator), Yemisi Adegoke (Contributor, Narrator), Paula Akpan (Contributor, Narrator), Sheila Atim (Contributor, Narrator), Siana Bangura (Contributor, Narrator), Jendella Benson (Contributor, Narrator), Candice Brathwaite (Contributor, Narrator), Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff (Contributor, Narrator), Bernardine Evaristo (Foreword, Narrator), Elisabeth Fapuro (Narrator), Toni-Blaze Ibekwe (Contributor, Narrator)Kuchenga (Contributor, Narrator), Temi Mwale (Contributor, Narrator), Eunice Olumide (Contributor, Narrator), Abiola Oni (Contributor, Narrator), Phoebe Parke (Contributor, Narrator), Princess Peace (Contributor, Narrator), Fiona Rutherford (Contributor, Narrator), Sophia Thakur (Contributor, Narrator), Kuba Shand-Baptiste (Contributor, Narrator), Nneka Okoye (Narrator), Neo Jessica Johnson (NAO) (Contributor), Selina Thompson (Contributor)
Publisher: Audible Studios
Format: Audiobook
Release Date: October 1st, 2020

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Usual disclaimer from me when talking about some books – firstly, I am not the target audience for this (that is not a negative). I’m white, and as well as this book platforming Black women voices, it is aimed at Black women. But I think it’s important to be open to various perspectives on a variety of issues, and I picked up this audiobook because the book and description attracted me.

This is an excellent collection of essays by some fantastic writers. Through Loud Black Girls, these women share their experiences and ideas, they offer advice, they talk through a variety of relationship situations, from relationships with parents to partners to their communities.

There’s a lot of emphasise on intersectionality, of course, something that should be at the core of most social justice movements. The writing is thought-provoking and informative. As an audiobook, it works brilliantly, with many of the contributors reading their own essays.

These essays are honest, funny, and should be read by everyone. Black women face unique experiences and problems, from their own communities (whether Black, or immigrant communities, or LGBT+, etc) and from outside, and have to push against the idea of ‘default’ (cis, het, white…), in a world that often strives to silence them. These women aren’t just good writers, they are excellent writers, the words shining and conveying the points they’re making in effective ways, whether detailing experiences or exploring possibilities.

This book is the kind you want to put into the hands of everyone you meet. Like other social justice focused books I’ve read over the last few years, it’s a reminder of what folks in marginalised communities face, but also the joys that can be experienced. It’s a reminder of the way women – especially Black women – are scrutinised and judged, and forced to conform in a society that is not built for their benefit, but also of the ways they can overcome the hardships and barriers these societies put in place.

It’s also a reminder of how much has changed yet how little, and what us white folks need to be more conscious and aware of in our own bias’. Again, this book is aimed at Black women, and does not exist for us to educate ourselves, but that is a side-effect in a sense. I would strongly recommend seeking out reviews written by Black women about this book, but if you are white and considering picking this up, and I do recommend it if you are looking for further ways to educate yourself.

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