A Measure of Belonging: Twenty-One Writers of Color on the New American South

Hub City. Oct. 2020. 189p. ISBN 9781938235719. pap. $16.95. LIT
Editor Barnes (Monsoon Mansion) invites 21 writers to tell their story as people of color living in the American South. Essays address topics such as race, home, identity, loss, and family. Aruni Kashyap relates the difficulty of renting a house from white landlords, who test his intelligence and ask questions about his religion. Frederick McKindra celebrates majorettes as a unique, Southern dance style. Working on her grandfather’s tobacco farm as a child, Diana Cejas remembers the smell of tobacco on her hands as she enters the medical profession. Ivelisse Rodriguez, a dark-skinned Puerto Rican, struggles to get a North Carolina driver’s license because the only racial categories are white, black, and other. With the bottom floor of her house flooding, Latia Graham comments on how disasters disproportionately affect African Americans. Christena Cleveland and Toni Jensen describe the institutional and personal racism in academic settings. In the book’s best essay, Soniah Kamal recounts the physical, spiritual, and emotional circumstances of her miscarriage. A notable exclusion to this collection is the lack of LGBTQ representation.
VERDICT A wonderful, thought-provoking collection of essays that highlight the various experiences of immigrants, people of color, and women in the American South. Recommended for public and academic libraries.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing