Black Enough is a collection of short stories about what it’s like to be young and black in America, featuring seventeen acclaimed bestselling black American authors writing for teens today. Each story is a little puzzle piece in the black experience for black American teens and young adults. The book tries to cover what everyday blackness is on various levels, from rich to poor, male to female and bi-racial to African.
The stories do wonderfully in describing the internal and external struggle of being young and black in America. The external struggle of being a minority and handling stereotypes, also, the external struggle within the black community itself and the expectations it puts on its young on what it means to be black, how to act as a black person and how this can sometimes serve as a limitation. Also, the internal struggle of figuring out who you are and where your place is in society outside of your race but as an individual.
With overt stereotypes not being the main plot of many of the stories, they do however deal with the individuals’ response to such things based on their own life experiences and who they are as individuals and not an assumed black group reaction.
The stories challenge many black stereotypes and puts humanity at the centre of it all to give them a shared human experience. Secondly and most importantly it portrays how the black experience isn’t just a handful of stereotypes but showing it to be multifaceted, nuanced and different to varying degrees.
Some of the stories attempted to write complete stories in a sense of conflict and resolution, although sometimes the resolutions seemed forced and unrealistic, it does leave the reader with a sense of hope, encouraging young black people in America that regardless of the kind of person they are or choose to be, they are still black enough.