This post is a book review for Slay in YOur Lane: The Black Girl Bible. In this post, I give my review of the book and outline all the great takeaways it has to offer.
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Book Review: Slay In Your Lane: The Black Girl Bible
I haven’t written a book review in a while, but don’t be alarmed, this isn’t because I haven’t been reading! I set myself a goal of reading 52 books this year but unfortunately, I don’t have the bandwidth (or willpower) to write a review for every single book that I read. Instead, I’ll write a review of my favourite book of the month.
This review is a little late, but Slay in Your Lane by Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinené was by far my favourite read in February. The books’ blog style of writing made it easy to read despite the depth of statistics and information contained within it.
Slay in Your Lane is essentially a life guide/self-help book for 21st-century black British women. The book features interviews with dozens of Britain’s most successful black women across different generations and industries. These women share their experiences throughout the book and celebrate their achievements. Adegoke & Uviebinené really left no table unturned when it came to interviewees’ in the book. Here’s just a snippet of women we hear from in the book:
Charlene White, Journalist
Clara Amfo, Radio presenter
Denise Lewis, OBE, track and field athlete
Diane Abbott, Politician
Jamelia, Recording Artist
June Sarpong, Television presenter
Karen Blackett, OBE, Chairwoman Mediacom
Laura Mvula, Recording Artist
Malorie Blackman, Author
Patricia Bright, Youtuber/Influencer
What was most interesting was the reoccurring themes throughout the book. Notwithstanding the differences in ages and industries, throughout the book, the women’s’ experiences are somewhat repetitive and constant.
Adegoke & Uviebinené wrote the book to help black women manoeuvre tricky situations in the workplace, dating, education, business etc. The books’ 17 chapters provide lots of practical information, advice, and resources for women to use.
While there are a number of books already out there aimed at tackling issues faced by women in the U.K., what differentiates this book is the fact that it was intentionally written by black women, for black women. The book helps tackle issues faced by black women head-on in a way that other books written for all women haven’t been able to do. Real life issues, discussed head-on with no sugar coating or filter, a safe space for black women to exhale.
What I liked about the book
I immediately liked the authors’ relatability and similarity in background and upbringing to me. They spoke very candidly about their experiences growing up and misguided advice given by career advisors at school when discussing future career options. Although I don’t know the authors personally, we seemed to have had very similar experiences growing up and encountered many of the same microaggressions at different stages of life.
Adegoke, Uviebinené and all the interviewees were very open with sharing their black British experiences. They discussed microaggressions, racism, the need to conform to fit in and working harder than their white counterparts. Each woman was very open about the work and sacrifice it took to reach her level of success and also offered advice to the readers wanting to follow in her footsteps.
I see why the book is called The Black Girl Bible because the authors took the time to cover every facet of life. From university and careers to health, mental health and relationships – they left no table unturned. The authors ensured no matter the area of life you need advice they have you covered.
I’m not alone
Adegoke & Uviebinené eloquently explained and illustrated the microaggressions and challenges that black women experience while operating in white spaces. From university and the dating scene to the corporate world and accessing mental health services, Adegoke & Uviebinené were sure to cover every area of life and it was refreshing to know that I’m not the only one that has had these experiences.
We’re all familiar with the stereotype of “the angry black woman”, and before reading the book I thought that was what it would be about. I thought Adegoke & Uviebinené would use the book to vent their frustrations and complain about how hard it is being black and female living in the UK. I was very pleased to discover that the book had a lot of substance. It’s a very educational thought out piece with thorough research and references supporting the arguments put forth throughout the text. It’s no wonder Adegoke & Uviebinené had nine publishers fighting to produce the book! It’s evident that a lot of work went into researching the topics featured.
It was encouraging to hear the stories of so many successful and inspirational women of different ages throughout the book. They each had their own struggles and adversities that they had to overcome but were able to thrive and excel irrespective of the unfair upheaval they faced. These women did not allow discrimination or unfairness that they experienced deter them from reaching their desired goals. Instead, they applied themselves and created their own platforms to shine and thrive. Reading this book definitely filled me with the courage and motivation I need to continue to Slay in my Lane.
Would I recommend this book?
Although Slay in Your Lane is The Black Girl Bible, I don’t believe that only black girls will benefit from reading it. I actually think everyone, no matter your gender colour or creed should read this book. I’d particularly recommend this book to anyone that says “I don’t see colour”. It will help you see life through the lenses of black women and understand and relate to our experience in a more informed way.
Slay in Your Lane is definitely a book I’ll be revisiting intermittently throughout the year. I’ll revisit the book to utilise the services and resources recommended in the book.
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