Black Is the Body: Stories from My Grandmother's Time, My Mother's Time, and Mine by Emily Bernard
An extraordinary, exquisitely written memoir through essays that looks at race in a fearless, penetrating, honest way.
“I am black—and brown, too,” writes Emily Bernard. “Brown is the body I was born into. Black is the body of the stories I tell.”
In these twelve deeply personal, connected essays, Bernard details the experience of growing up black in the south with a family name inherited from a white man, surviving a random stabbing at a New Haven coffee shop while taking graduate studies at Yale, marrying a white man from the north and bring him home to her family, adopting two babies from Ethiopia, and living and teaching in a primarily white New England college town. Each of these essays goes beyond a narrative of black innocence and white guilt and sets out to discover a new way of telling the truth as the author has lived it. “Blackness is an art, not a science. It is a paradox: intangible and visceral; a situation and a story. It is the thread that connects these essays, but its significance as an experience emerges randomly, unpredictably…Race is the story of my life, and therefore black is the body of this book.”
Published by Vintage, 2019, paperback, 240 pages, 8 x 5.1 inches.