Black Friday – Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

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Many people are showing their support through the use of the black square. If you are choosing to do this please remember to remove the Black Lives Matter hashtag so as to keep important resources easily accessible. The show of solidarity for the Black community comes in many forms, and we support them all.

As our platform is one built on books, we want not only to show our solidarity but to also elevate the voice of a living #blackauthor in place of our quiet listening. .
FRIDAY BLACK by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah is one of the best collections of short stories, period. All the stories in this collection are beautifully written, and the narratives are not only exceedingly topical, but are also approached with such creative nuance. Roxane Gay’s blurb on the book says it best, “[this collection] will make you hurt and demand your hope. Marvel at the intelligence of each of these stories and what they reveal about racism, capitalism, complacency, and their insidious reach.”

Adjei-Brenyah’s style in this collection is to take realities like racial injustice, lack of accountability, violence against the black community, the exploitation of working class labor, etc. and dial them up to eleven, creating a series of Black Mirror/ Twilight Zone like narratives that force us to see things in their most extreme light. Adjei-Brenyah isn’t taking a subtle approach here. These stories are so on the nose that it’s impossible to look at these issues and to see them for anything other than the traumatic realities they are.

These stories cut deep, but there is light here. Adjei-Branyah’s characters themselves are so genuine and open, yet they never once relinquish charge of their own lives, regardless of how consuming the system that is pinned against them becomes. .

This is a book for everyone. All of these stories are worth engaging with, but the stories “The Finkelstein 5,” “Zimmer Land,” “Friday Black,” “The Era,” and “The Hospital Where” are particularly poignant.

Please share with us what black authors you are reading—especially for non-fiction, as we ourselves need to do more work here.

We hope everyone stays safe no matter who/ where you are.

Story by The Editors