All the Women in My Family Sing: Women Write the World; Essays on Equality, Justice, and Freedom

366p. Nothing But The Truth. Jan. 2018. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9780997296211.
Expansive in scope, the essays within this collection, all penned by women of color, will provide much for readers to reflect on. The contributors come from a range of backgrounds, writing on personal and political events, families and strangers, the past and present—resulting in one finely crafted work. An endless number of creative nonfiction writing prompts could be developed from this anthology; the essayists demonstrate a mastery of form, imagery, turn of phrase, theme, and so much more. Included are Mercy L. Tullis-Bukhari's excellently structured examination of the Kenneth and Mamie Clark doll experiment through experiences with her young daughter in "Black Dolls for Everyone"; an adapted version of America Ferrera's "We Are America" speech from the 2017 Women's March; and Porochista Khakpour's snapshotlike "Home," in which she flies round trip from LaGuardia airport in New York City to Bangor, ME, following President Trump's attempt to ban immigration from predominantly Muslim countries. The many ways one can receive an education is a running thread throughout and will comfort students unsure of their own future and underline the necessity of voicing their experiences—or, as Hope Wabuke writes in "What Is Said": "There are some moments in history when, if you are a writer and have been gifted with this uncanny ability to observe and make meaning in harmonious forms, you have a responsibility to look. To bear witness."
VERDICT A top purchase for most YA nonfiction collections.

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