Official Review: White and Proud by Keri Brye

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Bianka Walter
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Official Review: White and Proud by Keri Brye

Post by Bianka Walter » 09 Jul 2018, 05:25

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "White and Proud" by Keri Brye.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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White and Proud is a book of anecdotes written by Keri Brye. As an African American girl growing up, Keri wasn’t aware of the rules involved with being black. There are certain things that need to be abided by in order to pass as an African American, and Keri failed at most of these edicts throughout her life. Thus, rendering her essentially white.

The ‘Black Laws’, as Keri refers to them in her book, consist of things like eating a lot of meat, dressing hip hop, and listening to rap music. You are also, under no circumstances, allowed to read novels or go to karaoke bars. These were things that Keri loved to do. And, unfortunately, she didn’t dress the part, enjoyed rock ‘n roll and country music, and (horror of all horrors) was a vegan! These individual traits caused Keri’s family and friends to insultingly label her as ‘the white girl’.

As much as this is a book about finding your own individuality, I also feel like it was cathartic for the author to write about her experiences. For lack of a better word, she was bullied as a youngster. Her decisions in life, although out of the black cultural norm, were what defined her as an individual. Being persecuted for this by her friends and family was unreasonable. It was great to watch her develop into a strong woman who eliminated many of these negative people from her life. She grew into someone who did things because she enjoyed them, not because it was part of some unspoken set of rules.

I think there are truly great lessons to be learned from the stories told in this book. In order for Keri to fit in, she needed to change her actions. She needed to dress sloppier. She needed to speak using more slang than she was used to. She needed to become untidier. She eventually realised that she didn’t want to do these things. She wanted to be happy on her own terms. Stereotyping people becomes easier when they allow themselves to be given labels, and I applaud the author for wanting to step out of that box.

The downside of this book was the editing. The book started out so well, and I noticed very few errors. But as I progressed through the stories, it got increasingly worse. It’s almost like an editor read the first part of the book, and then just stopped halfway. By the end of the book, there were missing words, repeated sentences, missing inverted commas, and commas in the incorrect places. An editor would have picked up on things like stereo type instead of stereotype, complimenting instead of complementing, and whose instead of who’s.

All in all, this was a very enjoyable book. I loved the stories that the author shared. If not for the poor editing, this book would have received a better result. As it is, it gets 3 out of 4 stars from me. I would recommend this book to people who are looking for positive ways to reinforce their own identities. Also, it helps to highlight the idea that people who behave differently from the norm are not necessarily weird.

They simply are who they are.

******
White and Proud
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Post by kfwilson6 » 10 Jul 2018, 09:42

Bianka, you are really putting out reviews quickly! And always so wonderfully written. You also choose very unique books. I saw this book on the new reviews list and saw "white" with a dark-complected girl on the cover and got curious as to what this could be about. Sounds like a unique concept. It's so sad when one's own family is critical. I'm glad she didn't bend to peer-pressure and continued to be exactly who she wanted to be.

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Post by daydreaming reader » 10 Jul 2018, 11:32

The title and cover combination is certainly attention grabbing. It is so strange how individual preferences can be used to inaccurately define people, regardless, the book seems like a good read about defying stereotypes and expectations. Thank you for the review.

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Post by Bianka Walter » 10 Jul 2018, 12:07

kfwilson6 wrote:
10 Jul 2018, 09:42
Bianka, you are really putting out reviews quickly! And always so wonderfully written. You also choose very unique books. I saw this book on the new reviews list and saw "white" with a dark-complected girl on the cover and got curious as to what this could be about. Sounds like a unique concept. It's so sad when one's own family is critical. I'm glad she didn't bend to peer-pressure and continued to be exactly who she wanted to be.
It just so happens that the last two I chose to read were about 100 pages long, so super quick! I'm having a little pause at the moment :)
This was a unique book! And I do tend to gravitate towards the ones with a different storyline. This didn't fail to impress!
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Post by Bianka Walter » 10 Jul 2018, 12:09

daydreaming reader wrote:
10 Jul 2018, 11:32
The title and cover combination is certainly attention grabbing. It is so strange how individual preferences can be used to inaccurately define people, regardless, the book seems like a good read about defying stereotypes and expectations. Thank you for the review.
I know, you would think that being unique is an attractive quality. The author definitely defied expectations!
Thanks so much for commenting :)
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Post by MsTri » 10 Jul 2018, 12:40

As a black female who "talks white", doesn't like watermelon, didn't curse when I was young, etc., I can certainly commiserate with the author. It also didn't help that I'm very fair-skinned, which resulted in several so-called "friends" accusing me of wishing that I was white or that I could "pass"! Unfortunately, I did not have the strength that the author did and I gave in to peer pressure, going so far as to actually studying people who "cuss", so I could do it properly. I'll be 50 in October, and these old wounds still affect me in some ways. I'm myself when around family and friends, but when in a crowd of other melanated persons, I find myself switching to Ebonics and acting more hip than I normally do.

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Post by Bianka Walter » 10 Jul 2018, 14:01

MsTri wrote:
10 Jul 2018, 12:40
As a black female who "talks white", doesn't like watermelon, didn't curse when I was young, etc., I can certainly commiserate with the author. It also didn't help that I'm very fair-skinned, which resulted in several so-called "friends" accusing me of wishing that I was white or that I could "pass"! Unfortunately, I did not have the strength that the author did and I gave in to peer pressure, going so far as to actually studying people who "cuss", so I could do it properly. I'll be 50 in October, and these old wounds still affect me in some ways. I'm myself when around family and friends, but when in a crowd of other melanated persons, I find myself switching to Ebonics and acting more hip than I normally do.
MsTri, this book was made for you. (I would wait for an edit though...)
What you are describing is told in detail through the words of Ms Brye, and it was so difficult for me to read. I wanted to climb into the pages and hug her, and tell her that she didn't have to change for other people. I suppose this is a problem that people all over the world deal with. The author mentions that when she spoke the part, it came out incredibly awkward, because it wasn't her. So I'm not surprised at your needing to 'study' people to be able to do something like cuss!
Thanks so much for commenting :)
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Post by crediblereading2 » 10 Jul 2018, 17:22

Wow! I would like to read this book despite its many editorial flaws. The main character is so unique and interesting. Thank you for your honest review.

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Post by Cecilia_L » 10 Jul 2018, 19:44

This definitely sounds like a unique read. The editorial issues are disappointing but I'm glad that you still found it enjoyable to read. Wonderful review!

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Post by Bianka Walter » 11 Jul 2018, 16:13

crediblereading2 wrote:
10 Jul 2018, 17:22
Wow! I would like to read this book despite its many editorial flaws. The main character is so unique and interesting. Thank you for your honest review.
Thanks for the comment, and for stopping by :)
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Post by Bianka Walter » 11 Jul 2018, 16:14

Cecilia_L wrote:
10 Jul 2018, 19:44
This definitely sounds like a unique read. The editorial issues are disappointing but I'm glad that you still found it enjoyable to read. Wonderful review!
Ya, I hope she sticks it through another round of editing - it's definitely unique!
Thanks so much for reading and for the comments :)
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Post by Kate S » 11 Jul 2018, 20:07

Hi Bianka!

I have to admit, the title and cover picture caught my eye immediately. They're so contrasting (which could raise a few hackles), but once you realize what the book is about, then everything just clicks together in a painful yet brilliant way. Her troubles that you describe can be analogous to people today trying to find a balance between feminine and masculine gender roles. I'm actually curious about this book now, and I might just give it a whirl. It's a pity about the grammar; I hope the author finds an editor that will take proper care of any future novels of hers.

I'm still pretty new to this site, so I'm not sure if we're allowed to recommend other stories on review pages, but if you (and anyone else reading this) are intrigued this book's content, I highly recommend the story "In Flux" by Jonathan Escoffery. You should be able to Google it. The story basically covers the same subject as this book - having expectations placed on you because of your skin color. I only read it once, but it still blows me away every time I think about it.

Other than that, thanks for the review!
~Kate S

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Post by Lu_rire » 12 Jul 2018, 01:51

I like the theme of finding your identity. Identity independent of what other people expect of you but focused on who you are, what you are comfortable with, and the things you love.

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Post by JR Mercier » 12 Jul 2018, 03:07

This sounds like an amazing read and I love all your reviews! It's sad that she was bullied over being a 'white girl'.
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Post by ButterscotchCherrie » 12 Jul 2018, 03:18

This sounds like a fascinating account by an African American who wasn't drawn to the cultural norms she was pressured to espouse. It sounds like she was brave in asserting her individuality. This raises interesting issues about socio-cultural environments and identity.

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