Womanish. (Opp. of “girlish,” i.e. frivolous, irresponsible, not serious.) A black feminist or feminist of color. From the black folk expression of mothers to female children, “you acting womanish,” i.e., like a woman. Usually referring to outrageous, audacious, courageous or willful behavior… Acting grown up. Being grown up… —From Alice Walker’s Definition of a “Womanist” from In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens: Womanist Prose
Born in 1964, the last year of the Boomers or the first year of Generation X, depending upon who’s counting, Kim McLarin came of age as part of the first real “Brown vs. Board” generation, and that experience, of America first embracing and then rejecting a real and meaningful beloved racial community, has shaped everything in her life.
Searing in its emotional honesty, Womanish is an essay collection that explores what it means to be a black woman in today’s turbulent times. Writing with candor, wit and vulnerability on topics including dating after divorce, depression, parenting older children, the Obama’s, and the often fraught relations between white and black women, McLarin unveils herself at the crossroads of being black, female and middle-aged, and, ultimately, American. Powerful and timely, Womanish draws upon a lifetime of experiences to paint a portrait of a black woman trying to come to terms with the world around her, and of a society trying to come to terms with black women.