Swirl Girl: Coming of Race in the USA

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5.00 out of 5
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SWIRL GIRL: Coming of Race in the USA reveals how a hard-headed Mixed-race “Black Power Flower Child” battles society—and sometimes her closest loved ones—to forge her identity on her own terms.

As the USA undergoes its own racial growing pains, from the 1968 riots after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, to the historic 2008 election of the nation’s first Biracially Black president, TaRessa Stovall challenges popular stereotypes and fights nonstop pressures to contort, disguise, or deny her uncomfortable truths.

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4 reviews for Swirl Girl: Coming of Race in the USA

  1. :

    The book was absolutely fabulous. Kudos and congrats!

  2. (verified owner):

    As an older person, one who grew up in the 50’s looking every bit as “mixed race” as I did, I resonated strongly with many of the complications TaRessa explores in Swirl Girl. I was particularly pleased at the way she wove political happenings and social history seamlessly into her experiences of life; it really added to the depth of her story, grounding it in such a manner that I found myself vividly recalling where I was and what I was doing at the time… it drew me in.
    (I give Swirl Girl 5 stars! even though the graphic below may not show it. It doesn’t seem to want to go past 3.5)

  3. (verified owner):

    TaRessa Stovall’s SWIRL GIRL: Coming of Race in the USA is a juicy must-read memoir that hits all the touch points of growing up as a mixed-race person in America, especially a mixed-race woman. This work should actually be required reading for interracial parents or prospective parents. It is both a preparatory and cautionary tale that seeks to navigate the potential difficulties and obstacles that unsuspecting parents can’t even envision for the future of their biracial offspring. While Stovall recognizes that no story will be identical to hers, she nevertheless offers an unbridled examination and expose’ of complexities related to racial and cultural identities; hence, the work can serve as an understanding companion to biracial youth seeking to find their way through the maze of prejudice, biases, confusion and/or plain misunderstanding. But the memoir is also relevant for us “single-race” folks who likely never had a clue what it was REALLY like to be a ”mulatto”, a “half-breed”, a “mongrel”, a “mutt” in such a hyper-bigoted environment as the US of A. Whether we are on the white or the black side of the racial divide, we leave the book with a more sympathetic understanding of what it’s like to straddle that racial fence in a society that is almost as racially polarized in the 21st century as it was in the 19th. Stovall’s language is lyrical and tight with crisp images of people, places and things that have affected her own development as a politically conscious AND Afrocentric biracial woman. While being laser-specific to the realities of the mixed-race population, Stovall’s messages throughout the book are also applicable to all of us who are forging stronger identity politics in our respective communities, be they racial, ageist, cultural, gender or whatever. This is likely a personal confrontation with these issues that is long over-due.

  4. (verified owner):

    Where do I begin!? I started to do my normal speed-read, but stopped after page 101 an hour later. I had to go back and read every word. Page 101 spoke to me as a white person. It should speak to everyone, no matter their color. Now, after reading the whole 202 pages, one word at a time, I have so much praise for this book and its author, that I cannot write it all here. It would take another book to comment on it all!! So, whether it’s Auntie Ozzie (Rosalyn), Kelly (Dad), Auntie Shirley, Big Ernie, Ms. Gonzalez, Greg, et.al., I was mesmerized! I lived in and out of that world. Of course, I’m TaRessa’s white cousin, but that doesn’t mean I only felt emotions because we’re related. I could not miss the message to all of humanity, and the help this book could bring to people of all skin tones! To summarize, TaRessa nailed it … cousin or not!

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