This year, books pertaining to race, gender, sexuality and feminism are paving the way for some interesting discussions and perspectives on how we view human life in America. One of the most prolific of these to be released this year is Morgan Jerkins’ debut, This Will Be My Undoing: Living at the Intersection of Black, Female, and Feminist in (White) America. Jerkins’ collection of essays is a timely discourse on the treatment and experiences of Black women in this country.
Named as the “one of the Most Anticipated Books of 2018” by Esquire, Elle, and Vogue, Jerkins’ book contains a collection of essays regarding topics such as feminism, misogyny, Black history and pop culture. The main question Jerkins answers in her book is, what does it mean to be Black and female in a country that denies this existence through multiple systems of oppression?
She answers this question by focusing on her lived experiences. Jerkins’ essays cover specific themes such as Black women’s sexuality, issues with dating as a Black woman, being Black in Russia, and the “Black Girl Magic” movement in relation to disabled Black women. While certain essays remind readers of the oppression Black women face, Jerkins’ reminds Black women and girls to take care of themselves in a world that does not always care for them.
Ultimately, Jerkins tackles these subjects through honesty and reflection on her own personal experiences, especially during a time where many of these matters continue to be issues in this country. The essays spark conversations about subject matters that not only directly affect Black communities, but white, male spaces as well. While the essays are based on Jerkins’ background and what it is like to be a Black woman in America, many readers will benefit from Jerkins’ book.
This Will Be My Undoing was released on February 6, 2018. For more information on the author, please visit morgan-jerkins.com.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Morgan Jerkins is an associate editor at Catapult whose work has been featured in The New Yorker, Vogue, the New York Times, The Atlantic, Elle, Rolling Stone, Lenny, and BuzzFeed, among many others. She lives in New York.