As timely as today’s news, M.J. Fivre’s Badass Black Girl needs to be in the hands of every American Black teenager. It could be a reference book she dips into from time to time, or an engrossing read in one sitting, or even shared with a friend. Fievre has written a hopeful guide to Black female empowerment in adolescence, when all women are most vulnerable, and to building a strong foundation for a life of self-development.
M.J. Fivre has filled this book with affirmations and quotations from Black women leaders, writers and celebrities, from ancient history to the present day. She closes each chapter with a list of Badass Trailblazers in many fields—entertainment, politics and law, STEM, sports, spirituality, literature, education, the military and government services and more.
Indeed, there is much of benefit here for girls of any color. While the book is written for Black teens, Badass Black Girl could open the eyes of White classmates and friends in two very important ways. White girls will learn how much more difficult these important years can be for their Black peers. And they will also see how much they have in common.
Moreover, some of the advice is useful for even adult women, such as Fivre’s suggestions for finding your strengths based on your past and present, what others say about you, and what you enjoy doing—as well as taking notes on yourself in a special notebook. But for Black girls, there is much more, including sections on What You’re Up Against, 15 Upbeat Songs for Blue Days (I’m using this one myself), and Reasons to Love Being a Black Girl. The author signs each chapter with Kenbe: Haitian Creole for “Be strong” or “Hold on.”
Badass Black Girl would make a wonderful gift for a Black teen girl in your life. If you don’t have one, get it for a White teenager who has or would like to have Black friends. It could help to raise her racial awareness, something that is sorely needed in these times.
But first, read it for yourself. There’s so much good advice, history and encouragement here, for girls of any age.