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Parable of the Brown Girl: The Sacred Lives of Girls of Color

4.40  ·  Rating details ·  147 ratings  ·  31 reviews
The stories of girls of color are often overlooked, unseen, and ignored rather than valued and heard. In Parable of the Brown Girl, minister and youth advocate Khristi Lauren Adams introduces readers to the resilience, struggle, and hope held within these stories. Instead of relegating these young women of color to the margins, Adams bring their stories front and center wh ...more
Paperback, 200 pages
Published February 4th 2020 by Fortress Press
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Mar 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a very valuable read for me in several different ways. First and foremost, Khristi Lauren Adams shares stories of young brown women she has encountered through her life and illustrates time and again how these young women feel other-ed, oppressed, and isolated in their lives--then shares how she utilized Scripture to help these young women realize that they are valued and loved by the God who made them. As someone who has never nor will ever have to cope with the struggles women such as ...more
May 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is meant to minister to black and brown girls, and I feel like it does a phenomenal job of that, but since I’m not a part of that target audience I won’t comment further. As a white person and educator reading this to increase her own understanding of the unique needs of black girls, I found this book enlightening and extremely helpful in deepening my cultural awareness. It is a Christian book; however, even if you aren’t religious, you can skip the Biblical interpretations and still f ...more
Melissa Flo-bix
Jan 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Rev Adams wrote a book that is for black girls, that does not shy away from the particular ministry and needs of black women, and yet is a book that should be read by everyone. In Parable of A Brown Girl she exemplifies womanist theology by making the voices of black girls the ground from which theological inquiry springs. She will teach you how to be a pastor, a minister, a thinker, a writer, and and advocate. This book should be read by all of us as we undo the myths and stereotypes of black w ...more
Feb 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
I found this book to be a more nuanced take on how the specific trials of being a Black girl can be healed through an understanding of scripture, spirituality, and God’s love. It’s rare to find a book that also references Black feminist and political thought while not shying away from Christianity. Each of the 7 parables deeply resonated with me as a Black woman and an Educator who has taught many Black girls. My one, somewhat small, complaint is there were several typos in the book that should ...more
Rebekah Snyder
Oct 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was looking to get my hands on Khristi Lauren Adam’s book on singleness, but this was the only one of her books my library had. I decided to give it a chance, if only to get a feel for her writing style. Am I ever glad I did.

As someone who doesn’t “get” racism, this is hands down the best book on racism I have ever read. Khristi Lauren Adams does not point fingers or rage against the sins of the past. She delves right into the lives of modern day black girls and details the struggles that are
Aug 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Powerful stories! I can totally relate to many of the girls' stories in this book. Adams, who is a counselor, did an amazing job of capturing the vulnerabilities of these young girls. No one, other than brown girls, really understand what its like to have to deal with so much psychologically at a young age. The expectations placed upon us, trying to please everyone and be strong for everyone. We are weak sometimes and its ok to be weak. No one has the capability to be strong all the time without ...more
Jun 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
I am not the target audience here, but this book was well worth reading to examine the various societal pressures, expectations, and stereotypes young black girls (and grown women as well) have to deal with. It is written by a pastor and interpreted through a Christian lens, but the stories of the girls themselves are something it would be valuable for anyone to read and if you don't want to get into the religious aspects or advice, those parts are easily skipped.

I did notice that there are many
Mar 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I love the subtitle of this book: The Sacred Lives of Girls of Color. Adams uses her pastoral heart and wisdom to write these beautiful parables. She uses the real life stories and voices of her students which makes it all the more powerful. I think of the book The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien. The things brown girls carry are vast and far reaching. The labels and expectations we project on them are heavy. They live lives of dignity, beauty, and contribution to the world. Their lives are s ...more
Cassandra Miller
Aug 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
In Parable of the Brown Girl, Khristi gives a voice to the often-overlooked experiences of black girls. Browsing through the table of contents there were some chapters that I was more excited to read than others, but I found deep truths in every single one of them. I liked how Khristi ended every chapter by reflecting on what the girls' experiences taught her. The scripture and reminder of how God sees and understands every black girl is so needed. As a counselor and advocate for black girls, Kh ...more
Jennifer A.
Sep 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
I can tell I’ve appreciated a book of nonfiction when two things happen:
1) I finish reading it in less than a week (I am typically a painfully slow reader), and
2) I want to sit back and listen and learn from (but also ask questions of) the author some more.

This book has fulfilled both terms. Thank you, Rev Adams, for teaching us through these girls by your demonstrated humility and wisdom in learning from them yourself.
Traci Rhoades
Jul 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book features some common misunderstandings about brown girls in America. Using a number of examples, these misconceptions appear common for the majority of brown girls growing up here. The stories shared brought up my own memories and left me with plenty to think about. It raised my awareness of assumptions we can make.
Ryan Miller
Nov 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Adams’ book is small, but important. She both connects young black women to the beauty of Christ theologically and explores how so many decks are stacked against them sociologically. This book offers value to those who the powerful in society too often devalue, or at least create abundant barriers between them and value.
Feb 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I'm not sure I've ever read a book where I felt SO seen.

That just laid out many of my own experiences and the experiences of my friends.

Despite being raised Christian, I often have a hard time connecting to to the faith and having this book acknowledge me as a black woman and connecting me directly to God? It was really beautiful.
Oct 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was the first book I’ve read in months that I was compelled to keep a pen in hand, underlining and taking notes on almost every page. It was such an honor to learn the stories of these sacred lives. If you’re looking to expand your ideas of God, start by learning the stories of brown girls.
Tecia Marshall
May 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A very good and balanced selection of all the ways brown girls are seen, displayed and how we feel.
Jul 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I learned so much from this book! A must read for educators and anyone who works with people of color.
Ashley Chowdhury
I identified so much with the girls in this story. I am grateful to the author for highlighting these young girls experiences. How she was able to incorporate Scripture was so profound.
Smooth Via
Aug 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Touching and convicting. I love Adams' approach of telling these girls stories and using them to even teach someone like me: a white adult male. ...more
Catherine Dennis
Jan 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
Thoroughly enjoyed the weavings of faith into each parable especially not having known this was a spiritual book when I sought it out
Feb 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Touching stories that teachers would like to know. This is an important book.
Apr 01, 2021 added it
Thought provoking
Nadia L. Hohn
Apr 05, 2021 rated it really liked it
Very good read. I love how it drew from personal experiences, interviews, and scripture. What a beautiful look at the divinity of Black girls.
Ok, since parable is part of the title - I was expecting short stories offering life lessons. I was expecting an equivalent of 'Uncle Remus' stories, but featuring a character like maybe an Aunt Sadie telling parables starring a brown girl, maybe named Nia, in situations that brown girls experience. The book relates real-life experiences, but the writing is too clinical. It would be hard for a younger reader to relate to, which is a shame since the book is meant make brown girls feel like they a ...more
Mar 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Hard to review because I don't think this book was really written for me, a white girl. But I learned a lot. ...more
Ope Bukola
Jan 17, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic read. Adams talks about the lives of young black girls, and connects their hopes and struggles to biblical narratives. The overarching idea is that the lives and thoughts of black girls are worthy of collective attention and care. This is a great read for parents, aunties, educators, really anyone with young black girls in their life.
Jill Steeley
Feb 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Parable of the Brown Girl is the most thought-provoking book I've read in a while. It examines the impact of cultural stereotypes on and the challenges of girls growing up brown-skinned in a society that seems to undervalue their uniqueness. Author Khristi Adams mines historical, cultural, and spirituals truths from the experiences of a number of girls she has worked with over the years, as well as her own. This a is must-read for everyone from teens on up, especially those who work with black t ...more
Feb 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Parable of a Brown Girl is such a powerful and necessary book. All too often, the experiences and stories of black and brown girls are completely neglected. In this is book Khristi opens wide a space for these stories and experiences to be told and gives us, the reader, an opportunity to lean in and learn from them.

Chapter 3, 'Parable of the Voiceless Brown Girl', is one of my favorite chapters in the book. It starts with a poignant quote from a 16-year-old brown girl named Lyric. She says, "If
Ashley Abercrombie
Feb 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I love this from the final pages of this book: "Jesus's parables are what critical race theorists call counter-storytelling-telling the narrative of people whose experiences are seldom hears. The counter-stories in this book contradict unfair characterizations and assumptions typically made about black girls, allowing these girls to shape their own trusts and reject anything that undermines the authority they have over their own lives."

Khristi does exactly this with Parable of the Brown Girl. I
Feb 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
I am grateful for Khristi Lauren Adams and her ministry to girls who are so often overlooked and misunderstood. The insights she provides are both illuminating and heart-wrenching. We don’t have to perpetuate the stereotypes and tropes surrounding Black girls/women. This book can help us start breaking the cycle. I wish I had a book like this 20 years ago.
Dec 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2019
This is a very needed, challenging book.
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Khristi Adams is a Speaker, Author and Advocate. Khristi is an ordained Minister with American Baptist Churches USA. She is the Firestone Endowment Chaplain and instructor of religious studies and philosophy at the Hill School in Pottstown, PA. She also works as co-director of Diversity at the Hill School. Previously she worked as Interim Protestant Chaplain at Georgetown University Law Center & G ...more

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