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4.23  ·  Rating Details ·  223 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
Candid, witty, and insightful, Naked is a compelling collection of essays that captures what today's black women think about their bodies-from head to toe. Tackling such issues as hair texture, skin color, weight, and sexuality, it follows women on their paths to acceptance-and enjoyment -of their unique a place where it doesn't matter how big the breasts or ...more
ebook, 272 pages
Published August 2nd 2005 by Perigee Books (first published 2005)
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(showing 1-30)
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Aug 27, 2007 Demetria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: black women and anyone who is interested in the intersectionality of black women's lives
Shelves: non-fiction
This book is a compilation of essays written by black women about black women. Writers, doctors, inmates, rappers, video vixens, college students and women from so many other walks of life, offer up their personal stories. The essays pretty much revolve around issues of identity and sexuality and self-confidence. Most of the essays are very well-written and offer compelling, diverse real life stories that most black women (and maybe most women) could relate to on some level. Some of the pieces a ...more
Miss Fabularian
Feb 18, 2010 Miss Fabularian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Naked: Black Women Bare All About Their Skin, Hair, Lips, and Other Parts" by Akiba Solomon and Ayana Byrd is a compilation of essays that articulates the black female experience. As a black woman, I found it easy to invest my emotions in the text, and in much of the writings I could see myself and people I know. Even though the essays are exclusively by black women, the sources are diverse. Women from all regions of the African diaspora were represented, as were socio-economic backgrounds, sex ...more
Barbara Albin
May 11, 2010 Barbara Albin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book relates to ALL women. The stories are about African-American women but in most cases we can just substitue ourselves, what ever our color. Under the color of our skin we are closer than we think.
May 21, 2009 Lori rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those texts that should be required reading for adolescents (girls and boys) and African American youths, in particular.

All of the essays were written by Black women brave enough to voice their views, issues and personal experiences with/on topics like the concept of beauty, the complexities of African American hair and skin color, sexual behavior, dating choices, body image and weight. The contributors included entertainers, writers, scholars, professionals, activists and a numbe
May 26, 2014 Marje rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A deeply compelling, challenging, and thought provoking collection of essays about what it is to be a black woman in America, and how that experience shapes your personal view of your body.

I'm not black, but I am a woman, and I found myself saying "yes, me too!" more than once, and also shaking my head over the many ways our culture tells women they are ugly.

Dear women, you are gorgeous, strong, powerful, and amazing.
Tori Danielle
This book is phenomenal. There was so much in it that I could identify with. It's a must-have for every black female.
Dec 28, 2008 Rakisha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One day, long ago, my husband suggested a book for me to read with the glowing praise of "this is the type of book you might like." Not believing he had even paid attention to any of the books I read, I responded with a question. "What type of books do I like?" He paused and said "You know, about women." I grimaced. My husband, who is a pretty intelligent man, could only recommend a book to me based on the fact that it was about "women." He couldn't even fully explain what he meant by that. I di ...more
The Urban Book Source
Naked strips away all the mystery surrounding the thoughts held by black women about their bodies. Often raised in a subculture that is not tolerant of a woman sharing their fears, reservations and insecurities about their bodies African American ladies have had to long keep their thoughts to themselves, at least until now. Often over-sexualized in music and videos, Naked sheds a rainbow of light on the way black women from all walks of life, view their bodies, from Melyssa Ford and Jill Scott t ...more
Jun 19, 2008 Dusty rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Dusty by: my heart
i was looking in the olympia library's very small "color" non-fiction section, trying to find something written by native women. all i found was a book full of edward s. curtis photos about native women's "ancient spiritualness." i passed on that book because i took it home once and discovered it was written by white folks and very static. like native women don't wear jeans and drive cars.
anyway nothing on the shelves by native identified women, but i did find Naked. an amazing raw real and curr
Sep 01, 2015 Nicole rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
"Naked: Black Women Bare All About Their Skin, Hair, Hips, Lips, and Other Parts" by Ayana Byrd, was a truly beautiful book. All the stories about self discovery told from middle class black women, left me educated and aware of struggles black women face in life. This will definitely go into my favorites collection. And will be greatly recommended.

"Looking at the outside, at the media, we'e continually being shown the same kind of woman. It's as if God just created one kind of flower. But how
Dr. E
May 11, 2013 Dr. E rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The authors DO acknowledge the collection of narratives do not substantially address or include the experiences of Black and womyn-identified folks across the intersections of gender, class, and attraction. This was missing for me resulting in the 3-star rating; however, there is great value and connection in many of the personal stories provided and I still highly recommended it as a staple on bookshelves..
This is a beautiful book filled with stories about me and you and my sisters and my mother. Stories I didn't know we had in common. I would give it five stars, but as it said in the introduction, the editors were aware that this book provides a mostly east-coast, heterosexual account of body image. I would have loved to see more of a cross-continental viewpoint. Overall, I'd buy this book for future generations to read.
Kyrie Ele
A collection of short stories written by women brave enough to bare all about our self awareness and consciousness of our bodies. From hair texture to big lips to big hips and not big enough hips to how the world sees us and deals with our presence; this book is all the things we admit to ourselves and our closest friends. An excellent read and funny too!
Nov 24, 2008 Alexis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very thought provoking and readable collection by various black women, some of whom are celebrities and some of whom are just regular folk. There were some essays about body image, love, sex, gaining weight, losing weight, hair, skin colour and the media. I found this book rather empowering and would recommend it to many.
Maya Aisha
Jun 04, 2016 Maya Aisha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i loved it!

my favorite's essays were ...
akiba solomon's "the free black woman"
melissa ford's "calendar girl"

my favorite quote: "... labels say more about the person doing the assigning than they do about the assignee. folks need to find a box to put you in, and they need for you to stay there, safely within their realm of comprehension." - laini madhubuti
Jan 28, 2011 Romonda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every black woman who finds herself struggling with who she is as a black woman and what her place is in a world of images that do not look like us should read this book. It's a times funny, at times sad, but utimately uplifting. I was glad to have read it, but wish that I read it many, many years before.
Jan 05, 2016 Esme rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.6 stars.
Encouraging. It made me not feel bad about my body. Our body is truly a temple. Every adolescent teen should read this book. Society has brainwashed our minds to view our bodies as a subject of sexiness and pleasure. Our body is more than that. Men should really read this as well.
Mar 01, 2013 Abdifatah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is very touching. Phenomenal. A lot of black women I know can identify with this greatly.
Jul 07, 2008 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
We African American women share so much. I recognized myself in a lot of these essays. It's amazing how much baggage we carry as a result of the racism and sexism that are the legacy of slavery.
Sep 25, 2016 SmarterLilac rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Superb. Enlightening and honest; a sincere and shame-free exploration of bodily identity, Self and life. A+
Jade Monroe
Jun 07, 2016 Jade Monroe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting short stories

I especially loved the stories about skin color, weight, and relationships. I'm hoping to find more books like this one.
May 29, 2013 Jewel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is such an amazing anthology. I wish I would have had it in my 20's. I identified with every writer. It was amazing how they interviewed some of my favorite authors.
Must buy!
Stephanie rated it liked it
Jun 20, 2008
Arvis rated it really liked it
Feb 20, 2015
Wood St. Germain
Wood St. Germain rated it really liked it
Mar 01, 2013
Tanya Rowe
Tanya Rowe rated it really liked it
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Sadiqqa rated it liked it
Oct 31, 2011
Mistoura rated it it was amazing
Dec 13, 2007
Danielle Stephens
Danielle Stephens rated it liked it
Jan 20, 2014
Yodith rated it really liked it
Feb 15, 2008
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Ayana Byrd is a writer and editor living in Brooklyn, New York. A Phi Beta kappa graduate of Columbia University's Barnard college, she is an entertainment journalist whose work has appeared in Vibe, Rolling Stone, Honey, TV Guide and Paper magazines.

Aside from writing, Byrd has appeared on numerous panels, including Harvard University's Black Arts Festival and Barnard College's Scholar and the Fe
More about Ayana Byrd...

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