Book review | ‘We Should All Be Feminists’ and ‘Between The World And Me’

Both books picked up for the #DAreadathon.

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimimanda Ngozie Adichie 

This short book by Chimimanda Ngozie Adichie is an adaptation of the TED talk she delivered in 2009. The writing which reads like a very engaging essay is a perfect introduction to feminism, discussing both the writers history of the absence of feminism growing up in Nigerian culture, and also the misconceptions around the term in today’s western society.

Adichie’s voice is interesting and engaging, she in no way talks down to the reader of alienates with overly complicated language, it is a very matter natural and at times conversational. Another great aspect of her words it that it doesn’t seem like she is forcing your beliefs or making you think a certain way – there is room for the reader to think and form their own opinion all the while being excellently educated.

Despite already considering myself a feminist, I still learned a lot of fresh information, especially about Adichie’s past growing up in Nigeria, I would 100% pick up more non-fiction from her especially if it were to explore further her anecdotes from childhood.

I most definitely recommend this text to anyone, but especially to those interested in a concise introduction to feminism – I look forward to the day when my goddaughter is old enough to be introduced to books like this which honour and emphasise her as a young woman.

Between The World And Me by Ta-Nehesi Coates 

Between The World And Me is an honest and unapologetic text on what it means to be a black American today. Written as three essays in letter form addressed to his son, the book explores Coates’s thoughts and feelings on racial issues ranging from when he was a child himself, to the present day. Coates’ words are powerful, especially todays generation of online movements and ‘hashtag culture’ spreading across the globe thanks to the internet, like #BlackLivesMatter.

Reading this from a position of white privilege it would have been easy to take it in as interesting and moving words but to dismiss it, along with the guilt of privilege, not long after turning the last page. However as a white person I stood to learn slot by stepping outside of myself and just listening to another human’s experience.

I was also interested to hear the fierce and powerful voice of a father discussing parenthood. Coates gives his son (and the reader) a close glimpse into the honest feelings as a parent… A parent of a black child, a parent of a son and a parent of a kid growing up in today’s culture in general. As a mum myself I really appreciated this.

I would definitely recommend this book and urge anyone reading to go in with a true listening ear, uncloaked of their own person and privilege. I also recommend the audiobook narrated by Ta-Nehesi Coates himself.

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