Carefree Black Girls: Book summary and reviews of Carefree Black Girls by Zeba Blay

Carefree Black Girls

A Celebration of Black Women in Popular Culture

by Zeba Blay

Carefree Black Girls by Zeba Blay X
Carefree Black Girls by Zeba Blay
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  • Published in USA  Oct 2021
    272 pages
    Genre: Essays

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Book Summary

An empowering and celebratory portrait of Black women - from Josephine Baker to Aunt Viv to Cardi B.

In 2013, film and culture critic Zeba Blay was one of the first people to coin the viral term #carefreeblackgirls on Twitter. As she says, it was "a way to carve out a space of celebration and freedom for Black women online."

In this collection of essays, Carefree Black Girls, Blay expands on this initial idea by delving into the work and lasting achievements of influential Black women in American culture--writers, artists, actresses, dancers, hip-hop stars--whose contributions often come in the face of bigotry, misogyny, and stereotypes. Blay celebrates the strength and fortitude of these Black women, while also examining the many stereotypes and rigid identities that have clung to them. In writing that is both luminous and sharp, expansive and intimate, Blay seeks a path forward to a culture and society in which Black women and their art are appreciated and celebrated.

Paperback original.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Throughout the collection, she brings compelling and astute cultural criticism together with reflections on her personal evolution as a Black woman. Blay's thoughtful analysis of everything from viral Instagram moments and popular TV shows to headline news about Michelle Obama and Breonna Taylor makes for an infectious read...An insightful, provocative, heartfelt blend of memoir and social commentary that is as revelatory as it is celebratory." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"[A]n exuberant exploration of the ways Black women have defined pop culture...Blay never exploits her own or others' trauma; rather, she offers a way to understand grief while 'reaching out for a world where we value not just the representation of Black women but Black women themselves.' This fervent work will feel like a balm for many." - Publishers Weekly

"Calling for Black women (in and out of the public eye) to be treated with empathy, Blay's pivotal work will engage all readers, especially fans of Mikki Kendall's Hood Feminism." - Library Journal

"Blay's personal experiences with astute cultural analysis to explore how joy has become one of the most useful weapons in a Black woman's arsenal." - Bitch Media

"Blay's idea of Black womanhood is an inclusive one, where liberation is not just possible, but doable because it has the space for all Black women―cisgender, transgender, rich, poor, old, young, local, global―magnifying the potential for unity (and success) against the forces which mean them harm. Each essay carries with it truths that feel ancestral. Carefree Black Girls is the testimony I've been waiting to witness." - Robert Jones, Jr., author of The Prophets; creator of Son of Baldwin

"Blay's welcome voice is candid, vulnerable, and necessary. Her observations about the impact Black women have had and continue to have on pop culture are searing and timely, and will have a lasting impact on how much the world sees and understands us." - Tarana Burke, founder of the MeToo movement, and author of You Are Your Best Thing

This information about Carefree Black Girls shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Zeba Blay

Zeba Blay is a film and culture critic who has contributed to publications including the New York Times, the Village Voice, ESSENCE, Shadow and Act, Film Quarterly, and Indiewire. Formerly Senior Culture Writer at HuffPost, Blay has spent her nearly decade-long career writing about pop culture at the intersection of race, gender, and identity. Born in Accra, Ghana, she is based in the New York City area.

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