This Will Be My Undoing by Morgan Jerkins | SLJ Review

Jerkins has penned a complex look at what it means to be an African American woman who subscribes to the tenets of feminism but finds herself marginalized by and chained to a narrative crafted for her, not by her.

redstarJERKINS, Morgan. This Will Be My Undoing: Living at the Intersection of Black, Female, and Feminist in (White) America. 272p. notes. HarperCollins/Harper. Jan. 2018. pap. $15.99. ISBN 9780062666154.

Jerkins has penned a complex look at what it means to be an African American woman who subscribes to the tenets of feminism but finds herself marginalized by and chained to a narrative crafted for her, not by her. These essays explore the many ways systemic racism and a lack of true solidarity within feminist circles impact black women. In “Monkeys Like You,” the author deftly juxtaposes her dream of making an all-white cheerleading squad against the lunchroom bullying she receives at the hand of darker-skinned African American classmates. “How To Be Docile” examines how African American mothers sometimes unwittingly limit their daughters’ sense of agency. Jerkins also thoroughly inspects the politics of natural hair, dating while black, and problematic voyeuristic writing, explaining how our culture separates a black woman from her humanity. This is an intensely personal, honest account of one woman’s fight to reclaim her own narrative one word at a time. VERDICT An excellent addition to memoir collections.–Desiree Thomas, Worthington Library, OH

This review was published in the School Library Journal July 2018 issue.

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