A blazingly honest essay collection from a refreshing new voice exploring the in-between moments for Black women and girls, and what it means to simply exist
“At thirty-seven years old I can say Shenequa is a big name and I’m a big, bold woman.”
Shenequa Golding doesn’t aim to speak for all Black women. We’re too vast, too vibrant, and too complicated. As an adult, Golding begins to own her boldness, but growing up, she found herself “kind of in the middle,” fluctuating between not being the fly kid or the overachiever. Her debut collection of essays,A Black Girl in the Middletaps into life’s wins and losses, representing the middle ground for Black girls and women.
Golding packs humor, curiosity, honesty, anger, and ultimately acceptance in 12 essays spanning her life in Queens, NY, as a first generation Jamaican American. She breaks down the 10 levels of Black Girl Math, from the hard glare to responses reserved for unfaithful boyfriends. She comes to terms with and heals from fraught relationships with her father, friends, and romantic partners. She takes the devastating news that she’s a Black girl with a “flat ass” in stride, and adds squats to her routine, eventually. From a harrowing encounter in a hotel room leading her to explore celibacy (for now) to embracing rather than fearing the “Milli Vanilli” of emotions in hurt and anger, Golding embraces everything she’s learned with wit, heart, and humility.
A Black Girl in the Middleis both an acknowledgment of the complexity and pride of not always fitting in and validation of what Black girlhood and womanhoodcanbe.