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In Every Mirror She's Black


An arresting debut for anyone looking for insight into what it means to be a ...
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Why do you think the author chose not to have Kemi and Brittany become friends?

Created: 09/02/21

Replies: 11

Posted Sep. 02, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 2732

Why do you think the author chose not to have Kemi and Brittany become friends?

At Brittany's birthday party, Kemi awkwardly stumbles during their conversation and insults Brittany. Why do you think the author chose not to have these two Black women become friends?


Posted Sep. 04, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
RebeccaF

Join Date: 08/24/14

Posts: 45

RE: Why do you think the author chose ...

The language of "sisterhood" comes up in the novel sometimes, so you might assume that these two characters would feel a natural kinship for each other as Black Americans overseas. However, I think the author is making the point that just because people are from the same country or race, they can still have extremely different personalities that clash with each other. These characters also have their insecurities and things they are judgmental about, and they both manage to trigger each other.


Posted Sep. 04, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
linz

Join Date: 08/12/15

Posts: 89

RE: Why do you think the author chose ...

I think I was surprised that Kemi was so rude to Brittany! There was no reason to be. Not that they would become friends, but just to another person! But then it got me thinking about how she treated her coworkers in the States. Maybe it wasn't different.


Posted Sep. 04, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Cynthia

Join Date: 06/07/17

Posts: 55

RE: Why do you think the author chose ...

I agree with Rebecca that the author may have been (was probably) making the point that two people of the same race in the same situation wouldn't automatically mesh with each other, and linz's thoughtful questioning that it may represent Kemi's treatment of her coworkers back in the States.

I thought Kemi's behavior was out of character in that scene, and it didn't fit with how she presented herself in the rest of the book. I don't think she would have allowed herself to be out of control of herself in such an important situation. She was too savvy and self-disciplined. I also think it illuminated Brittany's insecurities.


Posted Sep. 05, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
melanieb

Join Date: 08/30/14

Posts: 220

RE: Why do you think the author chose ...

Because in real life they probably would not have become friends. I like that the author reminded non-Black readers that just because you share race and ethnicity does not mean you will like each other.


Posted Sep. 05, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
beckyd

Join Date: 07/31/19

Posts: 56

RE: Why do you think the author chose ...

Because if they did become friends, they would have each other for support and maybe not be as inclined to stretch beyond their comfort zones.


Posted Sep. 05, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
beverlyj

Join Date: 12/22/11

Posts: 118

RE: Why do you think the author chose ...

Kemi wanted to fit in so spoke out against Brittany as she sensed that Brittany was not respected by others and the rumors she heard at work.

Kemi also felt that she worked hard for her success and thought that Brittany stayed home and did nothing.

Brittany while lonely was not interested in being close with an "outsider" to protect Jonny and his family's reputation.

Neither one knows what each's experience and feelings are about being a Black woman in Sweden.

I did not see any reason why the two would be friends. In the little they know about each other - seems to say that they would not be friends.
Kemi was definitely disappointed that Jonny was not around in the office and she was disappointed with her job and felt he sold her a bag of goods.

Brittany knew Jonny's reputation regarding Black women.

The two women had nothing in common and no affiliations in common, and just being Black does not make for a friendship.


Posted Sep. 06, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Maggie

Join Date: 01/01/16

Posts: 324

RE: Why do you think the author chose ...

They were two completely different women. Kemi worked for Jonny and Brittany was his wife so a friendship might not be wise. Kemi was extremely intelligent and a career woman and Brittany was a pampered young wife. Their friendship would not have added to the story.


Posted Sep. 08, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lesleyf

Join Date: 05/14/11

Posts: 103

RE: Why do you think the author chose ...

It would not have enhanced the story being told. It would have weakened the author's message.


Posted Sep. 08, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
nancyh

Join Date: 06/25/13

Posts: 297

RE: Why do you think the author chose ...

I think she wanted to keep the stories of the three women separate.


Posted Sep. 22, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
sharonj

Join Date: 01/26/17

Posts: 23

RE: Why do you think the author chose ...

I initially wanted them to become friends and was disappointed when their interactions went so poorly. Looking back now, it was wrong of me to assume this and see the ultimate point the author was likely making.


Posted Sep. 25, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
gaylamath

Join Date: 02/11/20

Posts: 31

RE: Why do you think the author chose ...

Just because people are of the same race, it doesn't mean they have to like each other or get along. I'm white and there are plenty of white people that I don't want to be friends with. Even if I were in the situation of being around very few white people and a new one shows up, I don't know that I'd bend over backwards to try to be friends. I don't choose my friends because of their race, I choose my friends because of the people they are and project themselves to be.


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