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Book Cover for: A Black Girl in the Middle: Essays on (Allegedly) Figuring It All Out, Shenequa Golding

A Black Girl in the Middle: Essays on (Allegedly) Figuring It All Out

Shenequa Golding

A blazingly honest essay collection from a refreshing new voice exploring the in-between moments for Black women and girls, and what it means to simply exist

"At thirty-seven years old I can say Shenequa is a big name and I'm a big, bold woman."

Shenequa Golding doesn't aim to speak for all Black women. We're too vast, too vibrant, and too complicated. As an adult, Golding begins to own her boldness, but growing up, she found herself "kind of in the middle," fluctuating between not being the fly kid or the overachiever. Her debut collection of essays, A Black Girl in the Middle, taps into life's wins and losses, representing the middle ground for Black girls and women.

Golding packs humor, curiosity, honesty, anger, and ultimately acceptance in 12 essays spanning her life in Queens, NY, as a first-generation Jamaican American. She breaks down the 10 levels of Black Girl Math, from the hard glare to responses reserved for unfaithful boyfriends. She comes to terms with and heals from fraught relationships with her father, friends, and romantic partners. She takes the devastating news that she's a Black girl with a "flat ass" in stride, and adds squats to her routine, eventually. From a harrowing encounter in a hotel room leading her to explore celibacy (for now) to embracing rather than fearing the "Milli Vanilli" of emotions in hurt and anger, Golding embraces everything she's learned with wit, heart, and humility.

A Black Girl in the Middle is both an acknowledgment of the complexity and pride of not always fitting in and validation of what Black girlhood and womanhood can be.

Book Details

  • Publisher: Beacon Press
  • Publish Date: Feb 4th, 2025
  • Pages: 200
  • Language: English
  • Dimensions: 0.00in - 0.00in - 0.00in - 0.81lb
  • EAN: 9780807016060
  • Categories: African American & BlackEssaysPopular Culture

About the Author

Shenequa Golding is a writer and an editor whose work focuses on race, gender, popular culture, and entertainment. After earning a degree in print journalism from Hampton University, Golding began her career as general-assignment reporter for a small newspaper owned by the Chicago Sun-Times. There, she covered everything from town-hall meetings to teen murders. A native New Yorker, Golding returned to her roots as an entertainment writer. Her work, both on-camera and in print, has appeared in prominent Black publications such as Vibe and Essence, as well as mainstream outlets, including Complex, the Associated Press, BBC, and Vanity Fair. Her essay, "Maintaining Professionalism in The Age of Black Death is . . . A Lot," published on Medium in May 2020, has received 990K views to date. When not writing, Shenequa can be found watching The Golden Girls reruns, listening to her favorite true crime podcast, or geeking out whenever someone compliments her nails knowing they're press-ons from Walgreens. This is her first book.

Praise for this book

"Shenequa Golding's writing takes you places: to Kingston, to Hampton University, to Queens. But mostly it ferries you on a journey with her, as she explores, examines, deconstructs, and reassembles--with rigor and wisdom and humor and fire--what it means to be Black and female and free. She's been here before. Y'all just ain't seen her yet. Get ready."
--Damon Young, author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker and winner of the 2021 Thurber Prize for American Humor

"Shenequa Golding's debut essay collection deserves an immediate place on your bookshelf. She handles tough subjects like lost friendships, rejected crushes, and distant fathers with humor and care. Shenequa pokes fun at herself while learning to establish better boundaries for her own well-being. Her writing is clear, funny, and touching. A Black Girl in the Middle will resonate with any young woman feeling the pressure to have everything figured out."
--Nichole Perkins, author of Sometimes I Trip on How Happy We Could Be

"Creating work that centers on Black women's unique perspectives is challenging. It requires self-reflection, thinking deeply about society, and the willingness to use your words as a shield of protection against harmful narratives that threaten Black women. Shenequa Golding is a gifted writer who rises to said challenges."
--Shanita Hubbard, author of Ride-or-Die: A Feminist Manifesto for the Well-Being of Black Women

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