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  • Writer's pictureJoan Fernandez

Black is the Body Book Review

By Emily Bernard

Cover of Speaking While Female an anthology

Powerful achievement


Typical descriptions—”be authentic,” “tell it like it is,” “genuine,”—feel pale and trite as I try to describe this award-winning memoir. Reading it felt like a window opened. Reading it felt like I had been invited into a private home. Reading it was an experience in seeing how when a voice is honest and humble and writes with as much clarity as possible the overall effect is power. Bernard’s sharing of her experiences in being a black woman in America’s white society as an educator, a friend, in adopting her kids, in being knifed…there’s so much here.. My heartfelt reaction is to witness. This memoir is a powerful achievement.

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