“The Black Kids” explores important themes


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Composition with books on the table

Haleah Ware, Staff Writer

“The Black Kids” by Christina Hammond Reed is a great read. Not only is it well written, but it tells an important story of what life is like to be a minority navigating through a community that looks at you as different.

The book is set in 1992 shortly after the murder of Rodney King. It follows a young woman named Ashley, one of the few black people in her suburban community. Despite that fact, she is what most people would consider a popular girl. She has a group of friends that she tries to fit in with even if that means dealing with some aspects she’s not fond of, particularly the micro-aggressions Ashley is subject to. And at home, she deals with rising tensions in her family. Her older sister Jo, a passionate activist, and her parents are constantly bickering, often leaving Ashley stuck in the middle. This puts a major strain on the sisters’ relationship.

Further into the book, Ashley explores her identity, family life and deals with the problems that come with being a teenager. Along the way, she makes some mistakes, but the mistakes give her room to grow as a person.

This book explores some important themes and at the same time what it’s like to be a teenager. The only fault it may have is that it tries to fit a few too many themes in one book. Some of the topics feel rushed or out of place, but overall, it is a great book.