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About Anika Nailah
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Does your life as an African American in the USA seem a bit insane? Are you asking yourself questions and having racial encounters every day about which white folks have no clue? This book lets you know that you're neither crazy nor alone. In addition, if you're a white person seeking to show up as an accomplice to African Americans, you'll gain precious clues as you witness real-life scenarios you may otherwise have never known.
In the tradition of Langston Hughes' final work, Black Misery, author/cultural liberationist, Anika Nailah, shares 30 common moments in 21st Century Black American life. C. Andrew Williams' humorous yet poignant black and white illustrations enhance those scenarios to create the Everyday in the USA: 30 Black Moments experience of an undisguised portrayal of life in Black America.
The unapologetic, intimate, and ironic tone will feel familiar to African Americans, while quite eye-opening to white readers, perfectly serving as a catalyst to spearhead thoughtful cross-racial and African American community conversations.
The Ready to Go Deeper Anti-Racism Guide at the back of the book also provides 31 activities for using the book to help you not only examine individually, in workplaces, in neighborhoods, and other group settings, crucial and urgent questions about racial oppression, but offers concrete steps you can take to turn reflection into active interruption of racism in the United States of America.
The stories in Free offer a moving, strikingly original perspective on how cultural experiences and social assumptions impact our lives. The characters include young children trying to cope with the mysteries of adult behavior, adults striving to define themselves in a society unwilling to accept who and what they are, and elderly people looking back on the often difficult choices they have made. They all share a yearning to be free of the ties imposed by others, ties that bind their bodies, minds, or spirits.
"Trudy" depicts a battle of wills between a black salesclerk and a white customer, shining a harsh light on the bigotry of the 1950s. In "My Side of the Story," a little boy struggles to understand why his mother has abandoned him despite her claims that she loves him. “All These Years” is a touching vignette about a couple married for fifty-four years who reminisce about the attraction they felt at their very first meeting and realize that the magic still remains. In the aptly titled "Inside Out," a man who has adopted all the trappings of the white world–the hair, the clothes, the speech, the attitudes–finds himself still ostracized in his office and gently mocked at home by a wife who embraces her blackness with pride.
In probing the interior landscapes behind the everyday faces her characters assume, Anika Nailah brilliantly exposes the injustices and struggles African Americans confront, the skills they develop in order to survive, and the psychological and spiritual costs of survival.