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Literary Nonfiction. African & African American Studies. When Did You First Realize You Were Black? Provoked by the fraught relationship between the African continent and American culture in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah, acclaimed Nigerian-American novelist Tochi Onyebuchi takes an emotional and intellectual journey through his own education in Blackness–his first loves, his introduction to politics, and his eventual commitment to the struggle.

Ranging from Paris to a Connecticut boarding school to a harrowing walk through the streets of Palestine, and touching on lessons from Frantz Fanon, Sylvia Wynter, Mohsin Hamid, August Wilson, Dear White People, and Black Panther, Onyebuchi blends memoir and cultural criticism to explore the ways in which identities, like diamonds, are pressurized into existence by suffering, and how the other side of suffering is self-determination.

(S)KINFOLK culminates in a trip to Nigeria, the homeland, where the author realizes that we share a future, as Black Americans and Africans, on this asymptotic journey toward self-actualization.