Black Girl, Call Home by Jasmine Mans
Reviewed by GGGinny
**We received an advanced copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. We’d like to thank Jasmine and Berkley for the opportunity. This book came out on March 9th and you can get it here or at your local independent bookstore**
What I drank: White wine. Honestly, I have not comment that doesn’t seem dumb, specifically on this post. This is a book that doesn’t invite comedy, even if that’s my default
From spoken word poet Jasmine Mans comes an unforgettable poetry collection about race, feminism, and queer identity.
With echoes of Gwendolyn Brooks and Sonia Sanchez, Mans writes to call herself—and us—home. Each poem explores what it means to be a daughter of Newark, and America–and the painful, joyous path to adulthood as a young, queer Black woman.
Black Girl, Call Home is a love letter to the wandering Black girl and a vital companion to any woman on a journey to find truth, belonging, and healing.
Drunk Overview: This is a book of poetry that is a mix of experience, recent news, and overall feelings. Which is clearly a bad summary. I’m sorry, I don’t usually read poetry which means I’m probably not going to be good at describing it.
Drunk Thoughts: I’m going to be honest, there is a decent amount of this that is not meant for me. There are pieces that I know aren’t meant for me, and yet felt so powerful, and there were pieces that I straight up just didn’t get
(none of this is a complaint, I’m usually not a poetry person).
All that being said, I am not black, I haven’t had to think about the way our culture and society view people of color anywhere near as much as someone who lives that every day. And while I like to think of myself as self-aware, this book broke my fucking heart. There were pieces here that felt so personal that I felt uncomfortable reading them at all. It was a gift to get something that was so clearly built from her own experiences.
Then there were the parts that hit me right where I live. Again, I’m a white woman, so I haven’t dealt with the level of harassment that women of color have on a regular basis. But some of these poems felt like the words I have never been able to put together and say myself. This book of poetry was both heartbreaking and uplifting.
What I’d Pair it With: Full-bodied red wine.