Joan Steinau Lester's newest book looks that the emotional and social experience of Nina, a teen girl living in LA who feels caught between two worlds - the "white" world of her mother and the "black" world of her father. This nowhere land of race becomes harder to navigate when the support system her parents offered is shattered by their divorce.
Now, with racial tensions rising in her school and community, her white friends seeing her as too "ghetto" and her black friends labeling her too white, and her father pressuring her to take up her black heritage, Nina feels lost and abandoned. Even Nina's faith seems to fail her - how can she cling to God and the songs of the church when God's image in her seems twisted?
When Nina discovers a book her father is writing about Sarah, her great-great grandmother who escaped from slavery on the Underground Railroad, Nina finds someone who can understand her feelings of being trapped in an upside-down world. But will those stories be enough to guide Nina through the pressures she now faces?
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A relevant story for our times
Absolutely! this is a warm and compelling story of life lived as a Bi-Racial teen in the San Francisco Bay Area in the 21st century. One would think the progressive liberal ideas of Northern California would produce a very different environment for a bi-racial teen; yet the struggle for identity is just as difficult as if the time was the 1950's and the setting was the old south.
The author tells two stories at once; the story of Neena and her journey with the manuscript her father has written about his enslaved ancestor, this intertwining of stories was a wonderful twist.
The telling of the story of what has been known in African-American history as "Box Boy Brown"
Black White Other...when the past can heal the future!
Black White Other is a great read for anyone adult or youth who wants to better understand the difficulties of living as a mixed race person in the united states; told from the point of view of a young girl growing into adulthood. A little corny at times but the messages are well articulated.
- Enid "I have been an Audible listener since 2006. I love Audible... My question is, when will all books be published in Audio format?"
- Elaine "I did not learn to read until I was in my twenties. Have not stopped since. The two most important things to learn are reading & chess."