Sharing Black Stories: Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson

Sharing Black Stories: Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson

This book made me think. I remember reading this book and having my eyes opened to a world I do not know. This book was everything I needed and it is what the world needs right now.

Here is a summary:

A timely and powerful story about a teen girl from a poor neighborhood striving for success, from acclaimed author Renée Watson.

Jade believes she must get out of her neighborhood if she’s ever going to succeed. Her mother says she has to take every opportunity. She has. She accepted a scholarship to a mostly-white private school and even Saturday morning test prep opportunities. But some opportunities feel more demeaning than helpful. Like an invitation to join Women to Women, a mentorship program for “at-risk” girls. Except really, it’s for black girls. From “bad” neighborhoods.

But Jade doesn’t need support. And just because her mentor is black doesn’t mean she understands Jade. And maybe there are some things Jade could show these successful women about the real world and finding ways to make a real difference.

Friendships, race, privilege, identity—this compelling and thoughtful story explores the issues young women face. 

Goodreads

Some of the quotes that really stood out to me:

Something happens when people tell me I have a pretty face, ignoring me from the neck down. When I watch the news and see unarmed black men and women shot dead over and over, it’s kind of hard to believe this world is mine.

“Sometimes I just want to be comfortable in this skin, this body. Want to cock my head back and laugh loud and free, all my teeth showing, and not be told I’m too rowdy, too ghetto. … Sometimes I just want to let my tongue speak the way it pleases, let it be untamed and not bound by rules.”

“I write my resolution in black Sharpie marker on top of a background made out of cut-up scriptures, words from newspaper headlines, and numbers from last year’s calendar.

Be bold.

Be brave.

Be beautiful.

Be brilliant.

Be (your) best.”

I am a middle school English Language Arts and Social Studies teacher.

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