Publication Date: January 30th, 2018
Rating: 3.45 Stars
This book was a first for me. My first collection of essays, my first in depth read on what it is like to be a black female in America and the first book in which I will NEVER be able to truly empathize with an author, or characters the author has created within, because of my skin color. As author, Morgan Jerkins so eloquently wrote on page 170, “they were sympathetic, but they weren’t capable of true empathy – this fear wasn’t theirs to know.” This sentence houses one critical difference in my white world and Morgan’s black world: I simply cannot understand what she has gone through, and continues to go through, the fear she has faced, and continues to face, because I will never have to experience it on the same level as her. Granted, on one level I can relate to the fear all females will encounter at some point, but her fear goes further than anything I will ever experience, she is a layer beyond anything I CAN experience – her skin color compounds her fear.
This Will Be My Undoing is full of raw emotion. Jerkins, allows us into her interpersonal most thoughts as we experience life through her. She allows us to experience an otherwise uninteresting cheerleading tryouts, through the mind of a black 10-year old. She takes us through her personal thoughts on her body, relationships and academic encounters. Even people I otherwise idolize, such as Michelle Obama, take on an entirely different meaning for her. The talent and voice portrayed within strongly resonated with me (albeit some were TMI), causing me to re-evaluate my own experiences, encounters and world events through a new lens. Jerkins’ skill appears effortless within each essay, while her drive toward success is palpable, and she appears to be only just beginning.
*Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.