The Black Girl Survives in This One, edited by Desiree S. Evans and Saraciea J. Fennell

Black Girl Survives in This One editor Saraciea J. Fennell , courtesy Viscose Illusion

c.2024, Flatiron Books       
368 pages

By Terri Schlichenmeyer
The Truth Contributor

Don’t go into that room.

Don’t start downstairs, there’s something down there you don’t want to meet. Don’t open that door. No, NO, don’t look inside the cabinet. You’ll scream and you’ll be sorry. Don’t go into the woods alone and don’t ever go into the tool shed – although, in the new book, The Black Girl Survives in This One, edited by Desiree S. Evans and Saraciea J. Fennell, there are times when you don’t have to worry so much.

Dive into your favorite scary media and you can almost immediately tell who will live and who will gruesomely die in each story. If there’s a Black girl in the cast, well, you know what’s coming next. But, says author Tananarive Due in her foreword, Black women are tired of that old trope. Rarely are fictional Black girls given a chance to “use their courage, strength, and wits to survive.”

All that changes in this book.

Who among us hasn’t taken a shortcut home? In “Harvesters” by L.L. McKinney, Jo’s best friend and her new beau want to party back at his place. So does the hot guy Jo just met, and a quick trip through a cornfield seems like the quickest way to get there – even though word is that the cornfield is haunted.

Theater actors know that there’s a certain Shakespearean play that you don’t ever mention aloud, and in “Ghost Light” by Erin E. Adams, a white girl bends the rules at the worst possible time. No big deal, right? Except that it is, and the deadly mess is left up to the producer-director to fix – if she lives.

Black Girl Survives in This One editor Desiree S. Evans

Meeting your favorite celebrity is fun, but what if they’re not like you expect them to be? In “Tmi” by Zakiya Dalila Harris, the celeb in question is oddly too willing to connect with a fan, and too more-than-happy to take selfies. That can be a lifetime memory but then again, sometimes, when someone famous shares too much, it’s not a good thing at all.

The windows are open, the night is quiet. All you hear is cicadas, crickets, and… a hair-raising scream. Don’t worry, though, the night sounds are normal. The scream is yours and you’re reading The Black Girl Survives in This One.

Sometimes, all you really want in a story is short. Seriously, you have a busy summer and that’s where this book comes in: fifteen authors present tales to scare you good, and they mostly succeed in their mission. Here, you’ll read about a family curse, an inheritance that you wouldn’t ever want, an otherworldly indication of danger and death, and a reason why you wouldn’t want to have a party in a cemetery.  Any of these tales might make you laugh a little, nervously.

And you’ll be scared.

While The Black Girl Survives in This One is meant for readers ages 12-to-18, it’s absolutely also for adults who love a little scream in their story. Don’t leave this one behind.

Don’t miss this book.

Don’t stop reading.