Hey y’all! This is the last book I’ll be reviewing from the readathon. Training School for Negro Girls was an interesting set of short stories. It reminded me of Heads of the Colored People which I read a few stories from for my African American Literature class last year.
I actually ended up finding out about this book through Goodreads and my library had the audiobook on the CloudLibrary app, so it felt like a perfect chance for trying out this genre.
As unapologetic and resilient as the DC neighborhoods they live in, these women challenge monolithic assumptions of black identity.
A TSA agent who has never flown, a girl braving new worlds to play piano, a teacher caught up in a mayoral race. In this debut collection of stories, each of them navigate life’s “training school”—with its lessons on gentrification and respectability—while fighting to create a vibrant sense of self in this love letter to Washington, DC.
The stories were engaging and made me think a lot. They showed the nuance of the black female experience. There was a range of ages and experiences. There were even stories set in different time periods. The one thing that connected them all was that they took place in Washington, D. C. Even then, some stories took place on one side of the metropolitan or the other. It was very interesting.
The stories all had a different focus but a lot of them had common themes. I think my personal favorite was the one about the piano player. I really enjoyed the end and it was a very sweet story.
The Not So Good
In all honesty, short stories don’t really do it for me. I’m always left wanting more. I want to see where these characters go and how their stories end. I also think I would have preferred this in print instead of audiobook. I really enjoyed the narrators but with short stories, I like to go back and see the details and that’s harder with audiobooks.
All in All
If you’d like to learn more about the Black experience and you’re a fan of short stories (or want to give them a try), definitely consider reaching for this collection. Training School for Negro Girls is perfect for fans of Heads of the Colored People, Well-Read Black Girl, and Black Enough.