An important and timely anthology of black British writing, edited and curated by the authors of the highly acclaimed, ground-breaking Slay In Your Lane. Slay in Your Lane Presents: Loud Black Girls features essays from the diverse voices of over twenty established and emerging black British writers.
Being a loud black girl isn’t about the volume of your voice; and using your voice doesn’t always mean speaking the loudest or dominating the room. Most of the time it’s simply existing as your authentic self in a world that is constantly trying to tell you to minimise who you are.
Now that we’ve learnt how to Slay in our Lanes, what’s next?
This was quite a special book. I was drawn to the title of the book because I thought I’d learn something new. I don’t know much about the experiences of Black women in the UK. Did I learn something new? I certainly did. What I didn’t expect was to relate to these women so much. I am a black woman, living in Africa where racial discrimination is not too common. Turns out I was wrong. We are all surrounded by prejudices but we don’t always see it.
This is a collection of 20 essays by 20 different authors. All covered different topics and were quite thought provoking. Some that stood out to me include one on the role of women especially in African societies. This is something that I have experienced and witnessed all my life. Growing up, I established myself as the ‘worst cook’ so as to get out of the role of cooking and serving my brothers as I was the only girl in the family. I didn’t like doing it and didn’t understand why they could play and watch TV while I cooked. They stopped asking me to prep meals for them after I made boiled cabbages for lunch. We still laugh about it. Luckily, that mindset didn’t last long at my home. At work, I have seen men waiting to be served by women just because. I don’t want that for my daughter. Let her do what she wants. If she wants to serve others, fine! I don’t want her to have to do it because she is a girl though. This essay really did make me pause and think about this cultural practise.
There was an essay about the representation of Black women in films that broke my heart. It made me critically analyse even the ‘strong female leads’ and yeah, alot of this representation is problematic even if ‘wrapped’ in a positive light. I honestly can’t think of many black, female leads cast in roles that are drama free, without some baggage that they have to deal with to illustrate their ‘strength’ and devoid of the angry black woman stereotype among others. Sad situation.
There are many other essays that have found their way into my conversations. Two that come to mind are about being mixed-race and black transgender women. It will take more than a blog post to illustrate the awesomeness that is this book.
Thought-provoking, masterfully written and quite memorable, I highly recommend this book.