An easy, enjoyable read that focuses on the strength of three Black immigrant women despite circumstances out of their control and very much in the hands of others.
Reading this book really had me invested in the stories of Muna, Kemi and Brittany, three Black women who end up in Stockholm, Sweden. They find themselves in Sweden for different reasons: Kemi by way of Nigeria and the USA because of work, Brittany via the USA because of love, and Muna’s forced migration as a refugee from Somalia to Sweden.
Kemi’s story was the one I could relate to the most. Being an African immigrant who’s lived in both North America and Europe, and who is in the workplace trying to build her career, quite a few of the experiences Kemi went through were very familiar to me, quite painfully so, in fact. Kemi seems to have been pulled in various directions by friends, her family, her culture, but also judged for simply walking in her path.
Muna’s story was the one that affected me the most, although her story was the least like mine. I don’t think I’ve read any stories about African refugees to Europe set in the present day and her story was incredibly touching. I think the author did a good job with showing us the isolation some refugees experience, and also what they face once they are accepted into the country they seek asylum in.
I’d never read anything about the Black experience in Sweden and it was interesting to note how all three women, despite all being Black, had different experiences in the country, all challenging in quite different ways. I also liked how the author incorporated her observations on Swedish culture, particularly comparing it to the American culture Brittany and Kemi had left.
I enjoy reading different perspectives of modern Black diasporic women in love, life, the workplace, and so on. They remind me of the unique struggles and realities Black women face, especially in the West, and also because these are not stories I had access to when I was younger.
In Every Mirror, She’s Black will be available starting September 7, 2021.