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A Measure of Belonging: Twenty-One Writers of Color on the New American South (Paperback)
A New York Times Books New & Noteworthy book - A Most-Anticipated Book from BookPage, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and Paperback Paris - Glowing reviews and features in Garden & Gun, CNN Philippines, Chapter16, Kirkus Reviews, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and more
This fierce collection celebrates the incredible diversity in the contemporary South by featuring essays by twenty-one of the finest young writers of color living and working in the region today, who all address a central question: Who is welcome?
Kiese Laymon navigates the racial politics of publishing while recording his audiobook in Mississippi. Regina Bradley moves to Indiana and grapples with a landscape devoid of her Southern cultural touchstones, like Popeyes and OutKast. Aruni Kashyap apartment hunts in Athens and encounters a minefield of invasive questions. Frederick McKindra delves into the particularly Southern history of Beyonce's black majorettes.
Assembled by editor and essayist Cinelle Barnes, essays in A Measure of Belonging: Twenty-One Writers of Color on the New American South acknowledge that from the DMV to the college basketball court to doctors' offices, there are no shortage of places of tension in the American South. Urgent, necessary, funny, and poignant, these essays from new and established voices confront the complexities of the South's relationship with race, uncovering the particular difficulties and profound joys of being a Southerner in the 21st century.
About the Author
Cinelle Barnes is a memoirist, essayist, and educator from Manila, Philippines, and is the author of Monsoon Manshion: A Memoir and Malaya: Essays on Freedom. She earned an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Converse College. Her writing has appeared in Buzzfeed Reader, Catapult, Literary Hub, Hyphen, Panorama: A Journal of Intelligent Travel, and South 85, among others. Her work has received fellowships and grants from VONA, Kundiman, the John and Susan Bennett Memorial Arts Fund, and the Lowcountry Quarterly Arts Grant. Barnes is the 2018-19 writer-in-residence at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art in Charleston, SC, where she and her family live.