Americanah: 1

I posted on facebook that I was starting this book in celebration of International Women’s Day. A friend saw my post, said she never finished it, and suggested we read it together remotely. We set a page goal for the evening. (I still haven’t met it three days later, but hey. Tomorrow is another day.)

Until her reply, that facebook post was the first time this project has felt uncomfortably performative. Am I just doing this so people will pat me and say “nice ally? I should delete it. This is not a day to flunk intersectionality. Once my friend posted that she was excited about reading with me, it transformed into something that– whatever the original motive– had had a positive effect. Two more white women in the world are gonna know the first seven chapters of Americanah than did last week.

I often link entries I write here over on facebook, since I’m pretty sure exactly two people follow me on wordpress. I’m still not sure whether talking about this so much in that venue is a good thing.

Mostly I’m grateful for this project, not proud of it, because my understanding of how race works is expanding. That’s a game-changer for a white woman in the age of Trump. (I’m also reading more and reading better stuff than I’ve read in year, which doesn’t hurt.) I’m trying not to write about Project Poetry for gold stars, although my character is such that I worry I’m not doing things right often and I love to hear it when I do something well. I’m hoping that I write about it because writing is what I do and because there’s a chance that from time to time, someone might see it and want to join in.

I dunno, though. There’s complicated ego stuff in there for me. I really hope what I learn from these books and these other works makes be better in the world.



3 thoughts on “Americanah: 1

  1. I’m glad you’re writing what you are.
    I’m glad you’re reflecting quietly, but also aloud, because … when only those with officially endorsed forums speak, it lets others know they needn’t seek to speak on their own. When people without established publications behind them say, “this is what I am doing, and this is what I am learning from it,” it paves the way for others … illuminating the benefit of the journey, and the okay-ness of undertaking it/acknowledging the lack of knowing everything already. It’s important.


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