WHEN CHICKENHEADS COME HOME TO ROOST by Joan Morgan

This is about as straightforward as black feminist theory-journalism can get. Very easy reading because she’s so cool and honest. Joan Morgan comes from the perspective of a woman who did what her mother told her to do–be independent. She had boyfriends but also went to college, pursued a writing career, found good friends, and did good for herself. However, in her thirties, she’s finding herself disappointed by the lack of eligible black men who are her equal (and who aren’t caught up with chickenheads).

Throughout the book, Morgan covers also topics like babymothers in the context of reproductive rights, how to be both critical and compassionate towards rap culture, and her fraught relationship with feminism as a black woman who grew up in the 80’s in NYC. She’s continuously thoughtful and hopeful in each one of these scenarios too. Resentment and bitterness and stereotypes are faced head-on. This book doesn’t shy away from discomfort. Instead, it celebrates that feeling as a part of an ongoing quest for self.

Best line: “My decision to expose myself to the sexism of Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg, or the Notorious B.I.G. is really my plea to my brothers to tell me who they are. I need to know why they are so angry at me. Why is disrespecting me one of the few things that make them feel like men? What’s the haps, what are you going through on the daily that’s go you acting so foul?”

-Rachel Wagner 2020

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