Black Enough by Ibi Zoboi
Black Enough is a star-studded anthology edited by National Book Award finalist Ibi Zoboi that will delve into the closeted thoughts, hidden experiences, and daily struggles of black teens across the country. From a spectrum of backgrounds—urban and rural, wealthy and poor, mixed race, immigrants, and more—Black Enough showcases diversity within diversity.
Whether it’s New York Times bestselling author Jason Reynolds writing about #blackboyjoy or Newbery Honor-winning author Renee Watson talking about black girls at camp in Portland, or emerging author Jay Coles’s story about two cowboys kissing in the south—Black Enough is an essential collection full of captivating coming-of-age stories about what it’s like to be young and black in America.
Normally I would give my thoughts on each story for an anthology. But I didn’t take good notes this time, so I figured I would just mention some of the standouts for me. Overall, I thought this was a great book and I liked every single story.
Half a Moon by Renee Watson This story just made me realize how much I enjoy Renee Watson’s writing. This is only the second thing I’ve read from her, but it was a great start to this anthology. This story is about a teenage girl who was a camp counselor for six grade girls. This is her last year and she sees her dad’s daughter on the bus. Raven’s dad left and she’s never spent any time alone with her sister. Raven tries to avoid her during camp, but then Brooke goes missing after being picked on. Raven starts to realize that she can’t blame Brooke for her father leaving.
Shout out to Black Enough by Varian Johnson for mentioning Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors. That made me day.
Samson and the Delilahs by Tochi Onyebuchi While this wasn’t my favorite story, there was something that really stood out to me about it. Sobechi is this perfect boy who does everything right. Debate/Speech is his whole life. He does everything to make himself the best and please his parents. Then Dez moves in next door and introduces Sobechi about metal. This changes everything for Sobechi.
He feels like he has been struck by lightening. Thunder still rings in his ears. His insides are on fire. And he wants to do this again.
Sobechi loses his voice and it affects his speech. He has to decide what is more important to him. What I loved about this is how Sobechi felt about the music. He didn’t play in instrument, but the music made him feel something more. He felt it inside of him and knew he needed it in his life. Music is like that for me, too. I don’t play or sing well, but I need music in my life. It can affect my mood and it has made me who I am. I don’t remember a lot from when I was younger, but I do remember my dad playing music all the time. I remember listening to classic rock with him. Bands like Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Fleetwood Mac, etc. As I got older, I started listening to things that were popular on the radio. Then I got into alternative and that has stuck with me for over 20 years. Pop punk is my love though. I listened to bands like Green Day and Blink 182 early on, but I heard Fall Out Boy for the first time around 2006. That changed everything for me. It’s like with Sobechi. I felt it and everything changed. So this story really spoke to me because of that.
Every story in this book was well written and important. I gave this book 4 1/2 stars, rounded up to 5 on Goodreads. Thank you to the publisher and Edelweiss for providing me with a copy for review.
Have you read Black Enough yet? Is it on your TBR? Are there any authors or stories that really stood out to you?