Friday Black is a piercingly raw debut story collection from Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, a young writer with an explosive voice; a treacherously surreal, and, at times, heartbreakingly satirical look at what it’s like to be young and black in America.
‘An excitement and a wonder.’
‘The writing in this outstanding collection will make you hurt and demand your hope.’
‘The fiction debut of the year. Bravo young man. We await your encore.’
‘An unbelievable debut.’
—New York Times
About the book
Friday Black tackles urgent instances of racism and cultural unrest, and explores the many ways we fight for humanity in an unforgiving world. In the first, unforgettable story of this collection, The Finkelstein Five, Adjei-Brenyah gives us an unstinting reckoning of the brutal prejudice of the US justice system.
Read an excerpt:
Fela, the headless girl, walked toward Emmanuel. Her neck jagged with red savagery. She was silent, but he could feel her waiting for him to do something, anything.
Then his phone rang, and he woke up.
He took a deep breath and set the Blackness in his voice down to a 1.5 on a 10-point scale. ‘Hi there, how are you doing today? Yes, yes, I did recently inquire about the status of my application. Well, all right, okay. Great to hear. I’ll be there. Have a spectacular day.’ Emmanuel rolled out of bed and brushed his teeth. The house was quiet. His parents had already left for work.
That morning, like every morning, the first decision he made regarded his Blackness. His skin was a deep, constant brown. In public, when people could actually see him, it was impossible to get his Blackness down to anywhere near a 1.5. If he wore a tie, wing-tipped shoes, smiled constantly, used his indoor voice, and kept his hands strapped and calm at his sides, he could get his Blackness as low as 4.0.