Reading guide for The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Other Black Girl

by Zakiya Dalila Harris

The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris X
The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jun 2021, 368 pages

    Paperback:
    Jun 2022, 368 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Tasneem Pocketwala
Buy This Book

About this Book

Reading Guide Questions Print Excerpt

Please be aware that this discussion guide will contain spoilers!

  1. Why do you think the author set this novel in the book publishing industry? How would the story unfold in another setting? How would it be similar or different?
  2. Recalling Colin Franklin's novel, Needles and Pins, have you ever read a book that was problematic? What was the title and what made it problematic? Why do you think it was able to get published? Was Nella right about confronting Colin about the stereotypes in Needles and Pins?
  3. At what point in the story did you feel suspicious of Hazel? What made her more likable to people in the office?
  4. The code question to enter the Resistance is, if an asteroid crashes into the Earth and destroys all Black folk except one, who do you save: Stacey Dash or Ben Carson? Why do think the author chose Stacey and Ben specifically? Would they be considered OBGs? How would you answer the code question and why?
  5. How do you feel about Nella and Owen's relationship? Does he truly understand the microaggressions Nella experiences at work? Do you think she feels guilt or insecurities about having a boyfriend who is white?
  6. Nella appears to be embarrassed by her inability to tie scarves, and about not making Black friends sooner or joining a Black sorority in college. Why does Nella question her Blackness? Do you think she's too hard on herself?
  7. Why do you think the author wanted to highlight how Black women feel competitive toward one another in white corporate America? How do you think people feel when they are the only person of color at work? Why might people of color feel competitive in white work spaces?
  8. In the novel, Diana and Kendra Rae posed for a 1980s magazine article titled "A New Era in Publishing?" How has publishing changed since the '80s? Consider the kinds of books that are published today. Are we currently in a new era of publishing?
  9. What is Richard's role in the novel? Why is he threatened by Black women? How does he benefit from "fixing" Black women?
  10. What does this book say about code-switching and selling out? What, if anything, separates the two? What are examples of code-switching?
  11. What is the significance and importance of hair to Black women? Why do you think Black women take such pride in their hair?
  12. Malaika and Nella have a very close friendship. How is the relationship between Nella and Malaika ultimately similar to the relationship of Kendra Rae and Diana?
  13. Did the ending make you more optimistic or fearful? How could the Resistance stop OBGs? What could they have done differently to stop Hazel?

Enhance Your Book Club

  1. Was there ever a time that you felt othered or different during you education or in your workplace? How did you overcome this? What made you different from others?
  2. The Other Black Girl has been compared to many movies: The Devil Wears Prada, The Stepford Wives, and Get Out. What movie would you compare it to? With your book club, have a movie night and watch a film that reminds you of the novel.
  3. The Other Black Girl will soon be a Hulu series. Discuss which actors you would cast. Is there anything about the novel that you would change for the series?


Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of Atria Books. Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Join BookBrowse

and discover exceptional books
for just $3.75 per month.

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: If I Survive You
    If I Survive You
    by Jonathan Escoffery
    In If I Survive You, author Jonathan Escoffery portrays a family falling apart with grace. Main ...
  • Book Jacket: Stories from the Tenants Downstairs
    Stories from the Tenants Downstairs
    by Sidik Fofana
    'Everybody got a story, everybody got a tale / Question is: Is it despair or prevail?' ...
  • Book Jacket: Fire Season
    Fire Season
    by Leyna Krow
    Fire Season is a thoroughly enjoyable novel that touches upon multiple genres and themes. It ...
  • Book Jacket: The Story of Russia
    The Story of Russia
    by Orlando Figes
    In The Story of Russia, British historian and writer Orlando Figes shares panoramic and ...

Book Club Discussion

Book Jacket
The Ways We Hide
by Kristina McMorris
From the bestselling author of Sold On A Monday, a sweeping tale of an illusionist recruited by British intelligence in World War II.

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Natural History
    by Andrea Barrett

    A masterful new collection of interconnected stories, from the renowned National Book Award–winning author.

Book Club Giveaway!
Win A Minor Chorus

A Minor Chorus

A debut novel from a rising literary star that brings the modern queer and Indigenous experience into sharp relief.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

Y Can't G H A

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.