YOUNG But Grown…Womanish are first hand accounts of young women growing into womanhood and all the travails and triumphs that entails. Angelia Vernon Menchan spares no one, least of all herself in the ways young women, particularly, African American women grow into womanhood.
5-Star Review from Roslyn M. Joneson
You can’t read an Angelia Vernon Menchan book without seeing yourself. Her books are real, transparent, and they cause you to look back over your life to see if you’ve conquered or if you still have work to do. I enjoyed all of the stories in Young…But Grown Womanish and I’m going back in for more of her wisdom.
5-Star Review from Rhonda Gilbert
This book had me in my feelings. You never know what a person endures growing up. A strong village (parents, aunts, uncles, friends, etc.) can make a difference in a child’s life. There’s examples of this happening and not happening in the various stories. People can seem to have it all, but still be unhappy and missing something in their lives. That is one of the reasons to never envy someone because of what you assume what they have. Mrs. Menchan bared her soul in this book. This takes guts to put herself out there.
I love all of the stories. I find myself wanting to know what the people in the stories are doing now (those that are alive). This book proves that children can be successful regardless of their economic background, it takes the love, nurturing, guidance and discipline of strong parent(s).
Excerpt from YOUNG but Grown…Womanish
Not long after that, I was at a dance at the Youth Center and this was in 1971 so the SuperFly, The Mack era was in full effect… perhaps you don’t know… those were movies about black men who were pimps and their prostitutes. This was the Blaxploitation movie era. Frankly, we didn’t feel it was exploitation at the times… we just were glad to see black people in movies looking cool and fly with great sound tracks… good times, baby come on. Anyway…
I was outside after dancing several songs and it was hot in there. I had gotten a bottle of water and stepped outside and there was this woman dressed in a bright yellow jumpsuit with a huge fro and very pretty face, sitting on the hood of a new Cadillac, she appeared to be maybe twenty and there were two men with her, dressed up in bell bottoms and stack heeled shoes and big hats cocked to the side. I stood near the fence, listening. I have always had the ability to be so quiet, no one knew I was there or perhaps they didn’t care.
“One thing you have to do is take care of your body.” The tallest, handsome man said.
“Oh, I know.” She said. “My mama taught me hygiene and body care.” Standing up, she swirled around and I must admit that was some body. Many curves like Pam Grier in Coffey, actually she looked a lot like that.
“No, that isn’t what I mean. You have to make sure you use condoms, douche afterwards every time and always take wipes with you with watered down alcohol. You use those to wipe off his sex and clean up down there. Learn to do it real quick as if it’s part of your seduction.” He said.
My mouth flew open and I held back a gasp. What in the whole world was he saying? Was he a pimp and training her to be his prostitute? Before another word was said, my friend walked out.
“Angel, what are you doing out here? Girl, come on.” The man who was talking turned to stare at us and his eyes slid up and down me as if I were posing for him. I remember his eyes as being a yellowish red that belied his handsomeness. Looking away, I quickly followed my friend.
( Continued… )
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