American Negra By Natasha S. Alford

  • Narrated by: Natasha S. Alford
  • Length: 10 hrs and 38 mins
  • Release date: 02-27-24

American Negra By Natasha S. Alford AudioBook summary

Award-winning journalist Natasha S. Alford grew up between two worlds as the daughter of an African American father and Puerto Rican mother. In American Negra, a narrative that is part memoir, part cultural analysis, Alford reflects on growing up in a working-class family from the city of Syracuse, NY.

In smart, vivid prose, Alford illustrates the complexity of being multiethnic in Upstate New York and society’s flawed teachings about matters of identity. When she travels to Puerto Rico for the first time, she is the darkest in her family, and navigates shame for not speaking Spanish fluently. She visits African-American hair salons where she’s told that she has “good” hair, while internalizing images that as a Latina she has “bad” hair or pelo malo.

When Alford goes from an underfunded public school system to Harvard University surrounded by privilege and pedigree, she wrestles with more than her own ethnic identity, as she is faced with imposter syndrome, a shocking medical diagnosis, and a struggle to define success on her own terms. A study abroad trip to the Dominican Republic changes her perspective on Afro-Latinidad and sets her on a path to better understand her own Latin roots.

Alford then embarks on a whirlwind journey to find her authentic voice, taking her across the United States from a hedge fund boardroom to a classroom and ultimately a newsroom, as a journalist.

A coming-of-age story about what it’s like to live at the intersections of race, culture, gender, and class, all while staying true to yourself, American Negra is a captivating look at one woman’s experience being Negra in the United States.

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