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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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We see three very different Black women in this novel. How do you think each of their backgrounds informed the choices they made?

Created: 09/02/21

Replies: 7

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

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 2732

We see three very different Black women in this novel. How do you think each of their backgrounds informed the choices they made?

We see three very different Black women in this novel. How do you think each of their backgrounds informed the choices they made?


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

Join Date: 06/07/17

Posts: 55

RE: We see three very different Black ...

I think the three women responded to life as one would expect, given each status on the world stage, especially considering experience, education, and self-esteem. Muna was never in a safe place emotionally and was always at the mercy of the kindness of others, which lead her to feel "less" and unempowered. As much as she dreamed and as hard as she tried, her life ended tragically out of fear. Brittany's financial dependence on Jamal, although I don't remember/know why she couldn't afford rent, lead her to what she thought was "greener pastures." And Kemi's independence, generally positive sense of self-esteem, and internal locust of control sent her off in a healthier relationship in a more accepting culture/country. (Her interaction with Ragner seemed to be a final straw.)


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

Join Date: 08/30/14

Posts: 220

RE: We see three very different Black ...

Each Black woman made choices somewhat influenced by the culture they were born and raised up in. Each culture has its own view of success in relationships and marriage as well and we often desire the ideas and goals we’ve been taught are worthwhile for success within our cultures.


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

Join Date: 02/03/12

Posts: 26

RE: We see three very different Black ...

I am reading such great feedback on this book, but I had a hard time getting to know these three - especially Brittany and Kemi. So many of their decisions were very spontaneous and I couldn't understand why they made the decisions they did. I could relate best to Muna. With her upbringing there was no way she could have a relationship with Ahmed because of their religious differences. But she also was so incredibly lonely and he was someone she could easily spend time with that related well to what she was going through.
I've enjoyed everyone's replies to the questions - it's helped give me more appreciation for the book


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

Join Date: 12/22/11

Posts: 118

RE: We see three very different Black ...

Yes, each of the three Black women had different backgrounds, different life experiences, and different reasons for "moving" to Sweden.

Muna unfortunately had the least amount of choice in her life as she was at the mercy at the country who would allow her to resettle in their country. Muna had the greatest barriers to overcome. Muna did what was expected of her - learning Swedish, getting a job and trying to become a productive citizen. But along the way, those she cares or was beginning to form a community with - left her; mot of them by dying. Having the community would have helped Muna deal with the discrimination/prejudice that she faced on a daily basis.

Muna had to take the job that was working at night and that would have put her nightly in harms way for violent attacks, and she had not place to live.

So unfortunately, Muna saw killing herself as her only option.

Kemi had the most resources financially and socially - so taking the job in Sweden was more of a personal challenge to her with really low risk. Kemi also had the experience of moving into a different culture before - as she moved from Nigeria to the US. While Kemi had the support of her family, she was independent and use to making her decisions on her own. So when Kemi was fed up with Sweden and again was another white boss wanted to have sex with her and that she had evolved into knowing what she wanted with a man and decided that she did not care about the man's finances - she decided she would go home and ask Tobias to come with her.
This is the one storyline without a definite decision at the end as we do not know what Tobias would say - but Kemi definitely as options.

Brittany wanted a glamorous life style and also had a definite idea in her mind what type would win her heart. Brittany knows something is off with Jonny but she decides that he cannot lie to her and will cater to her needs but falls in love with his lifestyle. When Brittany learns the truth about Jonny, it is too late in some ways.
And it seems like Brittany is losing her freedom and the ability to make her own choices.


Posted Sep. 14, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
nancyh

Join Date: 06/25/13

Posts: 297

RE: We see three very different Black ...

I think Beverly answered the question very well, I cannot find anything to add.


Posted Sep. 21, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Jessica F

Join Date: 05/23/20

Posts: 109

RE: We see three very different Black ...

Each of the women have to deal with creepy slime-ball men.

Muna: Yagiz

Brittany: Jonny and Beaufont (past)

Kemi: Ragnar

Their backgrounds as well as their future hopes/dreams dictated how they would interact with these men.

Based on Muna's situation, she was forced to take (Yagiz's) night job which put her in harm's way. Her past experiences may have been the factor that made her abruptly quit the restaurant job. Had she not quit, things may have gone more in her favor.

Brittany was abused by Beaufont in the past. She was accustomed to a certain lifestyle that I'm sure she missed. Jonny could provide that lifestyle for her without the lies and abuse that Beaufont doled out.

Kemi preferred a "basic" white man for occasional flings. Wealthy and powerful Ragnar enters the picture and the connection is electric. Perhaps the words of her family came into play..."I mean, what would Daddy and Mommy say if you brought home someone unworthy of your stature?" (26) Ragnar was more successful than Tobias the security guard.


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

Join Date: 02/11/20

Posts: 31

RE: We see three very different Black ...

I think the culture and place in life each of the women were in dictated their choices. I think these things dictate all of our choices. We only know what we know and can't pretend that we are anything different than we are.


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