Everyday Something Has Tried To Kill Me and Has Failed: Notes from Periracial America

Ig. Nov. 2023. 216p. ISBN 9781632461582. pap. $18.95. SOC SCI
Novelist and essayist McLarin (Womanish: A Grown Black Woman Speaks on Love and Life) contemplates living as a middle-aged Black woman in today’s American society in this astute essay collection. She says she has lived through three cycles of racial progress and its backlash and is no longer shocked or surprised when the latter occurs. In one essay, after years of being against guns, she describes her decision to learn how to shoot in response to the rise of white supremacy in the United States. In another essay, she laments how “stay woke,” a phrase used in the Black community as far back as the 1920s as a global plea to stay aware of systemic racism, has been appropriated by right-wing politicians and ideologues and used in a negative context. While McLarin does not mince words about her thoughts on the state of being Black in this nation, she becomes more introspective on topics such as aging, hair, and motorcycles. It is in these essays that readers are able to delve deeper into her persona. The essay about her dog shows McLarin at her rawest as she recounts her pet’s last days.
VERDICT Concise essays that clearly convey that the fight for racial justice must continue in the face of backlash. A must-purchase for all collections.
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