Black Boy Out of Time

Little A. Mar. 2021. 1p. ISBN 9781542091312. pap. $14.95. MEMOIR
Ziyad (editor-in-chief, RaceBaitr) reflects on their childhood struggles with anti-Blackness. Ziyad believes that Black children are subject to misafropedia, which they define as the contempt that society has for Black children. Ziyad’s goal is to use their own childhood and young adult experiences to provide readers with a framework for understanding, in the hopes that they might be able to reclaim their own childhood experiences lost to misafropedia. Raised in Cleveland in a Hare Krishna and Muslim home, Ziyad opens by reflecting on their mother’s faith and the ways in which her faith prevented her from fully accepting them. They detail the ways in which they perpetrated misafropedia towards their peers, to show that misafropedia is endemic in a society which does not value Black lives. In later chapters, Ziyad explores topics such as sexual identity, mental health, incarceration, and sexual assault. In between chapters, Ziyad writes letters to their younger self, in which they further examine the ways in which systemic racism and the carceral state has permeated society and shaped their worldview.
VERDICT An unflinchingly honest assessment of the ways in which the lives and experiences of Black children are devalued. Recommended for readers interested in anti-racism.
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