Get Lit with Lit Review: Friday Black by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

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Friday Black by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenya
Book Review by Talia Luening

This debut of short stories is as absorbing and interesting as it is violent and haunting. Adjei-Brenyah takes real, horrifying aspects of our world and turns up the volume on them. Creating stories that combine real life, science fiction and social commentary in a unique and straight-forward style that leaves the reader thinking and gasping for breath. Think a Black Mirror episode written by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Because, it’s THAT deep. The stories deal with topics ranging from abortion to racism, capitalist greed to dystopian futures and violence through many forms. While reading this book there were moments I felt literally sick to my stomach. Moments I thought I might cry while goose bumps covered my body. Each story left me equal parts emotionally exhausted yet intellectually stimulated. I could not stop thinking about the stories, or the larger picture Adjei-Brenyah was able to create for the reader; the questions I felt he was imploring us to ask ourselves. Here’s the thing about this collection of stories y’all: it is NOT easy to read. But it is just a small glimpse of what life must feel like for someone living as a Black man in this country right now. And guess what? That’s not easy either. And I think that’s ultimately what Adjei-Brenyah is trying to show us; (among other things) what it looks and feels like to be Black in America. This book is incredible.

****½ I am giving this book 4½ stars (that’s damn close to 5 stars!)  Because it deserves it!