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Reviewed by Rolanda Lyles for Readers' Favorite
Amy Watkins' Cute for a Black Girl is a powerful story of faith, love, and family. The story opens with Chloe, a young African American girl, in the hospital, unconscious and fighting for her life as her family diligently works at solving the mystery of what happened to her during a house party. The story shifts the point of view from past to present, making its way back to the act that resulted in Chloe landing in the hospital. Chloe ends up in foster care because of physical and sexual abuse at home. Mr. Wilcox, a white middle-aged attorney, adopts Chloe and they build a loving and trusting relationship. Despite her harsh beginnings, she grows up to be a happy, courteous, and highly intelligent student. While attending school, Chloe meets Cadence, a white girl who later identifies as a lesbian, and they become best friends. The duo has different experiences of racism in society. People in stores and other public areas are nice to Cadence but are always suspicious of Chloe. Cadence learns how their lives don’t have the same set of rules.
Amy Watkins' characters battle with low self-esteem, acceptance, racism, bigotry, faith in God, and faith in the goodness of people. This story shines a light on many of the racial, social, and even religious injustices that are still very prevalent today. This story may seem controversial to many but is very relevant to what is occurring in our world today with the current Black Lives Matter movement, police brutality on people of color, and unfair treatment of people in the LGBTQ community. Amy’s story is raw, honest, and unapologetically authentic! Cute for a Black Girl forces us all to look in the mirror and look at our actions, thoughts, beliefs, and I can say, it has inspired and encouraged me. I think that many people may not like what Amy has to say, but I encourage her to keep saying it anyway because it is the truth for so many people of color. We are all beautifully and wonderfully made in His image and called for a purpose.