As I sit here writing this reflection, it amazes me how much the general public is invested into celebrities lives. These people entertain us, but we always as for more, and then we judge them if we feel what they're giving us is inadequate. So, my March book was "We're going to need more wine" by Gabrielle Union, and I thought I was ready to read and learn more about Mrs. Union and how she got to this point in her life. As I finished each chapter, I started realizing how much these celebrities give to us for, what in return? I appreciate Gabrielle telling us her story because her journey matters, especially to me as a young black woman. I know there was pain, and heartache, and frustration, and maybe there still is in her life, but she seems to be someone who has worked very hard to become the best she can be, and I want you all to feel that too.
To answer my title question, very. It's something I've known all my life, and after a while something I became comfortable with. That's why, when I first stumbled upon "The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl" on YT, I was excited. I could consume a representation that genuinely reflected my everyday experiences. Of course, there is no cookie cutter awkward experience, and we all go through life with our own perspectives, but seeing Issa Rae take something so familiar to me, and connect it to so many people felt really good. Over the years, I've watched Issa Rae flourish and blossom into HBO deals, speaking appearances and the like, all the while I'm like "Yas Queen!" and singing other praises. While I don't know her from the next girl, it felt good seeing her float across my television screen, reliving my awkward and down right terrible moments on HBO's "Insecure" every week.
Naturally, in keeping up with my 12 books by black women cause, I figured picking up Issa Rae's autobiography "The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl" would give me the same feeling as watching her journey these past couple of years. Don't get me wrong, I'm well aware that artists, entertainers and celebrities don't owe us a thing, they're people just like we are. Yet, as I turned the page through Issa's autobiography, I didn't feel connected. While I definitely identify as awkward, it felt like what I was reading just didn't connect the dots. If anything, this book has cemented the idea even more about how nuanced awkward can actually be. Many times, on social media, black Twitter will joke about everybody experiencing the same childhood through memes, some funny joke or other shared experience, and while that may be true, we are all also very different, despite the shared identities. What Issa did give me was a sense that even an awkward black girl can stake her claim in this crazy world.