Unfollow Me: Essays on Complicity

Bloomsbury. Sept. 2021. 224p. ISBN 9781635577112. $26. SOC SCI
In this outstanding debut, based on her viral 2016 Instagram post about performative allyship, Busby reflects on life after micro-fame, considers what made her post go viral in the first place, and revisits her previous career as a diversity and inclusion trainer for nonprofits. Busby’s book is not intended to educate so much as illuminate and reflect; she gracefully unpacks how her identity as a queer Black woman has impacted her life and career and relocations, from California to Alabama to Washington State and back again. She takes readers along as she movingly revisits the year she spent living with her grandparents in Alabama and carefully explores her romantic relationships with women and intimate friendships with men. Between chapters, Busby includes transcripts of her “Dear White People” series of Instagram videos, which followed her viral post. Her writing comes alive when she considers and reconsiders the emotional toll of fame, however fleeting, and the ongoing challenge of separating herself from her online persona.
VERDICT Busby’s compelling writing elevates conversations on gender, race, and sexuality, drawing in readers from the very first page, setting this memoir-in-essays apart. Pass along to readers who enjoyed Shayla Lawson’s This Is Major and Amber Ruffin and Lacey Lamar’s You’ll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey.
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