While southerners are famous for their hospitality, the reality for the twenty-one writers of color featured in A Measure of Belonging ranges from unwelcome to outright hostile. Cinelle Barnes edited this important book of essays featuring writers such as Jennifer Hope Choi, Kiese Laymon, and Nichole Perkins. From M. Evelina Galang's piece on how Miami is like Manila, to Aruni Kashyap's essay on questions potential white landlords in Athens, Georgia asked him ("Are you Muslim?"), you're going to love these perspectives and immediately tell someone about this book.— Rachel Watkins
A New York Times Books New & Noteworthy book - A Most-Anticipated Book from BookPage, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and Paperback Paris - Glowing reviews and features in Garden & Gun, CNN Philippines, Chapter16, Kirkus Reviews, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and more
This fierce collection celebrates the incredible diversity in the contemporary South by featuring essays by twenty-one of the finest young writers of color living and working in the region today, who all address a central question: Who is welcome?
Kiese Laymon navigates the racial politics of publishing while recording his audiobook in Mississippi. Regina Bradley moves to Indiana and grapples with a landscape devoid of her Southern cultural touchstones, like Popeyes and OutKast. Aruni Kashyap apartment hunts in Athens and encounters a minefield of invasive questions. Frederick McKindra delves into the particularly Southern history of Beyonce's black majorettes.
Assembled by editor and essayist Cinelle Barnes, essays in A Measure of Belonging: Twenty-One Writers of Color on the New American South acknowledge that from the DMV to the college basketball court to doctors' offices, there are no shortage of places of tension in the American South. Urgent, necessary, funny, and poignant, these essays from new and established voices confront the complexities of the South's relationship with race, uncovering the particular difficulties and profound joys of being a Southerner in the 21st century.