Girl Gurl Grrrl
Title: Girl Gurl Grrrl: On Womanhood and Belonging in the Age of Black Girl Magic
Author: Kenya Hunt
Genre: nonfiction essays
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Summary: Girl Gurl Grrrl is a collection of essays that shed light on the state of black women across the diaspora during the era of Black Girl Magic! The essays in this book touch on varying topics from one's “wokeness” to what it means to be a “bad b****”. Girl Gurl Grrrl covers it all!
Thoughts before reading the book: The title and subtitle of this book alone grabbed my attention and demanded me to read it!
Thoughts after reading the book: Each chapter in this book gave me points of reflection. Here are a couple of my favorites that resonated with me!
Chapter 2: Notes on Woke
This chapter reminded me of the power of language and how one word can have so many meanings based on perception. We all have to have the same understanding of the foundation of words for us to be on the same page so that we don’t get lost in each other's message.
The term "woke" is widely used as a way to measure one’s awareness. The higher level of details and knowledge that one has about a certain topic, the more woke they are. I’m not sure if becoming woke will ever be a goal of mine, because the word gives off an “all-knowing” vibe to me which I don’t think I'll ever have. There’s so much information out there and I will never know half of it. However, I will continue to seek knowledge on topics that are important to me or pique my interest. Seeking knowledge and becoming more aware of important topics has a way of placing a burden on your conscience where you will never be the same. Once you know something, you can’t ignore it and you must take action. I find myself thinking a lot about what I can do to help a situation once I become aware of it. I want my knowledge to account for something and not just check a box for a like, follow or repost on social media. I want my level of wokeness to be seen through my actions.
Woke is most powerful, and most valuable when it is lived and not performed.
Chapter 7: Upon Reflection by Funmi Fetto
What is your standard of beauty?
I believe that every woman goes through phases of what and who is their standard of beauty. This may include a certain size, shape, skin tone, culture, style, or ethnicity. There are a ton of external factors that can play a part as well like family, friends, social media, celebrities, and cultural expectations. I hope that every woman gets to a point where they can look at themselves as their standard of beauty. That’s personally my goal!
I must say that I am LOVING living in a day and age where black girls and women have openly and unapologetically given themselves permission to be their own standard!
One way or another, the world has told Black women that they are not beautiful or of worth until the world approves. We have been told that our skin is too dark, but the world gets a tan. We have been told that our lips and butts are too big, but the world gets implants. We are told that our style is ghetto, but the world makes it high fashion. We see this type of narrative over and over again….
...the world still won’t view a black woman’s beauty as acceptable until the White space gives it their stamp of approval. Regardless of how it moves, however, I’ve decided to rewrite the rules of beauty for myself so that whichever way the wind blows, I personally am not moved by it.
Chapter 12:Loss by Ebele Okobi
In this essay, Okobi shares the “real story” of why her family moved from America to London. She had just had a baby boy and could not imagine raising him in a place where he will always be seen as a threat. She and her husband wanted to create joyful memories of blackness for their son. Okobi and her family were privileged and blessed to be able to make this decision.
I knew that I could not do what millions of Black parents do: send my child out, every day, into a country that would refuse to acknowledge his humanity.
I currently do not have children of my own, but I have a little brother who I love dearly! I used to tell him that our parents made him for me like he was a little baby doll. I have a boyfriend who I love dearly and I hope one day will be my husband and father of my children. I have a father who I love dearly and I pray for his safety. I can only imagine how deep a mother's love is towards her son. I can only imagine what it feels like to never quite have the security of knowing that you can protect him from a world that perceives him as a threat.
Girl Gurl Grrrl felt like a safe space and I was left with reflective moments about my womeness, my blackness, and my existence.
- Maya & The Spine Down