Book Review: “Black Enough”

Photo of the Black Enough book cover from the Harper Collins website.

Courtesy of Harper Collins Publishers

Photo of the “Black Enough” book cover from the Harper Collins website.

As I scroll through the “for you” page on TikTok or the “explore page” on Instagram, I notice that the same typical person always shows up on my feed– a white male or female. As a black girl, I’ve always felt misrepresented by the media. It made me feel as if being a black woman “wasn’t good enough.” I was running into the same problem as I searched for a book for English class at Lincoln High School’s library. All I wanted was to find a novel that I could connect and relate to on a personal level. One of Lincoln’s librarians, Ms. Lieberman, introduced me to a novel “Black Enough,” that not only I could connect to, but a book that I think thousands of young black teens around America could also connect with. 


“Black Enough” includes 17 captivating stories written by 17 different authors, and edited by Ibi Zoboi, New York Times bestselling author of novels “My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich,” “Pride” and “American Street.” The stories in “Black Enough” represent the diversity of the black community in the United States, including stories on the struggle to fit in, finding yourself, young love, heartbreak, wealth and immigration. 


Renée Watson’s “Half A Moon” tells the story of sisters struggling with their relationship at an overnight camp in Portland, Oregon. Jay Coles’s “Wild Horses, Wild Hearts” is a romantic piece involving the unexpected relationship between two cowboys in the south whose families hate each other. Brandy Colbert’s “Oreo” tells the story of Joni, a black girl who has always grown up around whites. Joni’s always been used to others thinking she’s “not black enough,” but ever since her cousin called her an oreo, she felt like she couldn’t even fit in with her family. 


As a young black girl who’s grown up in Portland, a city with a small black population, I immediately felt a strong connection to Joni’s story. Ever since first grade I’ve always been the only or one of the only black girls in my class. It’s something I got used to quickly, but I never got used to not feeling black enough. “Black Enough” and Colbert’s short story helped me realize that every black person is enough. 


I know that there are so many other black men, women and members of the LGBTQ+ community who feel or have felt just like I did. That is why “Black Enough” is so important and should reach a wider audience. With more than a dozen short stories about being young and black in America, “Black Enough” will make other young black people feel represented by showcasing the beauty and uniqueness of the different members of the black community.