Carefree Black Girls

Listen to a sample

What to expect

Brought to you by Penguin.

INCLUDES A FOREWORD WITH CLARA AMFO

In 2013, film and culture critic Zeba Blay was one of the first people to coin the viral term #carefreeblackgirls on Twitter. As she says, it was “a way to carve out a space of celebration and freedom for Black women online.”

In this collection of essays, Blay expands on this initial idea by delving into the work and lasting achievements of influential Black women in American culture – writers, artists, actresses, dancers, hip-hop stars – whose contributions often come in the face of bigotry, misogyny, and stereotypes. Blay celebrates the strength and fortitude of these Black women, while also examining the many stereotypes and rigid identities that have clung to them.

In writing that is both luminous and sharp, expansive and intimate, Carefree Black Girls seeks a path forward to a culture and society in which Black women and their art are appreciated and celebrated.

Praise for Carefree Black Girls

‘Blay is a talent, mixing an encyclopedic knowledge of pop culture, past and present, with incisive commentary on race and gender.’ Janet Mock, author of Redefining Realness and Surpassing Certainty

‘Blay’s welcome voice is candid, vulnerable and necessary. Her observations about the impact Black women have had and continue to have on pop culture are searing and timely and will have a lasting impact on how much the world sees and understands us.’ Tarana Burke, founder of the MeToo movement, and author of You Are Your Best Thing

© Zeba Blay 2021 (P) Penguin Audio 2021

Critics Review

  • Blay is a talent, mixing an encyclopedic knowledge of pop culture, past and present, with incisive commentary on race and gender.

    Janet Mock, author of Redefining Realness and Surpassing Certainty
  • Blay’s welcome voice is candid, vulnerable and necessary. Her observations about the impact Black women have had and continue to have on pop culture are searing and timely and will have a lasting impact on how much the world sees and understands us.

    Tarana Burke, founder of the MeToo movement, and author of You Are Your Best Thing
  • Alongside perceptive ruminations on everything from colourism to Cardi B, Blay writes with refreshing candour on topics that will resonate with Black women, the world over. Her passion and incredible knowledge on all things race, gender and pop culture-related make this book a standout and one you’ll struggle to put down.

    Morgan Cormack, Bad Form
  • Blay’s idea of Black womanhood is an inclusive one, where liberation is not just possible, but doable because it has the space for all Black women?cisgender, transgender, rich, poor, old, young, local, global?magnifying the potential for unity (and success) against the forces which mean them harm. Each essay carries with it truths that feel ancestral. Carefree Black Girls is the testimony I’ve been waiting to witness.

    Robert Jones, Jr., author of The Prophets; creator of Son of Baldwin
  • “Blay’s personal experiences with astute cultural analysis to explore how joy has become one of the most useful weapons in a Black woman’s arsenal.

    Bitch Media

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