Humor, Culture, and Race// Open Mic by Mitali Perkins Review

Using humor as the common denominator, a multicultural cast of YA authors steps up to the mic to share stories touching on race. Listen in as ten YA authors — some familiar, some new — use their own brand of humor to share their stories about growing up between cultures. Henry Choi Lee discovers that pretending to be a tai chi master or a sought-after wiz at math wins him friends for a while — until it comically backfires. A biracial girl is amused when her dad clears seats for his family on a crowded subway in under a minute flat, simply by sitting quietly in between two uptight white women. Edited by acclaimed author and speaker Mitali Perkins, this collection of fiction and nonfiction uses a mix of styles as diverse as their authors, from laugh-out-loud funny to wry, ironic, or poingnant, in prose, poetry, and comic form

The Good:

I love reading short story collections, they offer a chance to find new authors, listen to different voices on the same subject and experience new adventures. This collection: Open Mic: Riffs on Life Between Cultures in Ten Voices, is an excellent manifestation of those things.

My favorite stories: Confessions of a Black Geek and Like Me, resonated with me as I could identify with the characters. On the flip side however, I also enjoyed the stories where I could experience the point of view of characters in other cultures.
The Bad:

Nothing was bad, but my least favorite story was Lexicon, I couldn’t quite understand what it was about.

The Beautiful:

The cover for one, so simplistic with the color scheme of a sunrise. And the freedom with which all these authors approached the touchy subject of race and race relations. It’s always wonderful when important conversations can begin in a format like this.

Stay fly

~Akilah

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