Undoubtedly one of the most beautiful things I've ever read. Poetic, poignant, full of grace. Honest, moving, funny, unapologetic and yet deeply humble. Perry paints an incredible portrait of black motherhood, and of the complexities and beauties of being black in America. Tackling faith, Blackness, Americanness, gender, passion, striving, identity, being, and becoming, processing questions all of us have had to work through as we find our place in the world. It will surely be a gift to you.
Emotionally raw and deeply reflective, Imani Perry issues an unflinching challenge to society to see Black children as deserving of humanity. She admits fear and frustration for her African American sons in a society that is increasingly racist and that, at times, seems irredeemable. However, as a mother, feminist, writer, and intellectual, Perry offers an unfettered expression of love--finding beauty and possibility in life--and she exhorts her children and their peers to find the courage to chart their own paths and find steady footing and inspiration in Black tradition. Perry draws upon the ideas of figures such as James Baldwin, W. E. B. DuBois, Emily Dickinson, Toni Morrison, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Ida B. Wells. She shares vulnerabilities and insight from her own life and from encounters in places as varied as the West Side of Chicago, New England prep schools, and Birmingham, Alabama. Breathe offers a broad meditation on race, gender, and the meaning of a life well lived and is also an unforgettable lesson in Black resistance and resilience.