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Not All Black Girls Know How to Eat: A Story of Bulimia

3.57  ·  Rating Details  ·  75 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
Stephanie Covington Armstrong does not fit the stereotype of a woman with an eating disorder. She grew up poor and hungry in the inner city. Foster care, sexual abuse, and overwhelming insecurity defined her early years. But the biggest difference is her race: Stephanie is black.

In this moving first-person narrative, Armstrong describes her struggle as a black woman with a
Paperback, 272 pages
Published August 1st 2009 by Chicago Review Press (first published January 1st 2009)
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Elevate Difference
Dec 13, 2009 Elevate Difference rated it it was amazing
When I was growing up, I thought of bulimia and anorexia as "White girl problems." Through the media and interaction with peers, I had been given the impression that Black women did not experience body image issues or struggle with eating disorders. As I got older, I realized that these assumptions were wrong, but I still could not find stories of African American girls or women who had contended with anorexia, bulimia, or compulsive overeating.

In Not All Black Girls Know How to Eat, Armstrong t
May 28, 2015 Diana rated it really liked it
This is a powerful story about a woman of color who suffers from what is considered a whiten woman's disease: bulimia. It takes awhile to actually get to the eating disorder, but her disordered childhood is just as interesting and appalling. Her recovery is simplified but that's to be expected when wrapping up a book. Overall, it was a good read. Not graphic enough to be considered triggering but real enough to make me believe she went through it.
Spook Harrison
Sep 06, 2015 Spook Harrison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoirs
I picked this one up as an Everyday Feminism recommendation, and it was FANTASTIC. Covington-Armstrong's talent with words as well as her tale, what she chooses to spend time on and what she glosses over, makes an absorbing story. Her writing and the treatment she gives her subject matter, at times brutal with honesty and blunt reality and at times more lenient speaks to her mind, and I found it spoke to mine as well. I am so glad I picked this one up, it catches a reader off guard from the begi ...more
Jun 30, 2011 Wagatwe rated it it was ok
This book was a let down. I could not relate to the author and I did not really like how she shared her experiences; for some reason I just could not connect with the writing style or events. I kept waiting for it to get better and it just never did. To make it worse, it abruptly ended with a quick, cliche "oh look how wonderful my life is!" chapter. The whole book had this weird distance to it. It lacked the intimacy I enjoy when reading eating disorder memoirs. Definitely would not recommend t ...more
Lutfah Subair
Apr 21, 2014 Lutfah Subair rated it liked it
Shelves: rwr
The book Not All Black Girls Know How to Eat, was an interesting book and personally for me, it was easily relatable, since I am a young, black girl who lives in Brooklyn, New York. As the book progresses, you will become engrossed by her life story and how she has overcome so much. As a young teen, I've learned many life lessons from her personal life stories. However, she writes too much on one specific topic for too long of a time, which will get you bored at many instances in the book.
Bonnie Limbird
Jun 08, 2014 Bonnie Limbird marked it as to-read
Recommended by@fyeahmfabello.
Jul 03, 2015 Najela rated it really liked it
Jan 03, 2010 Pidge rated it really liked it
The only eating disorder memoir I've found that's written by a woman of color. The author's storytelling is simple and straight-forward, without the (misplaced) glamorization or angsty romance so often added to eating disorder memoirs. Although I wasn't blown away by Armstrong's prose style, her story is an important one, and one that I'm really glad to see published. The more books challenging eating disorders as a rich white girl's disease, the better.
Oct 27, 2011 Lake rated it liked it
While the ending was a bit abrupt, we did get to see the author get control over her illness. She rang very familiar to me. Even with that I didn't go in thinking I had to relate to this woman. Autobiographies and memoirs don't work that way.

A lot the story was like being inside a bouncing ball.

I've been guilty of saying/thinking that Black women don't get eating disorders and I think this book serves to put it out there that that isn't the case.
Dec 05, 2010 Kristin rated it liked it
Shelves: mental-health, 2010
While not a bad book it's not what I think of when I look for an eating disorder book. this focused more on an autobiography aspect with the eating disorder only coming into play for the last quarter of it. I feel like the Authors race didnt play any part in it though it was described as such.
Sarah (Say)
I'm glad this book is out there because it raises so many important issues that are often overlooked with eating disorders, such as race, sexuality, and class. That said, the writing was mediocre and the end was rushed and wrapped up too nicely.
Nov 11, 2011 Masokist rated it liked it
It was engrossing, but I felt too much time was spent on her background, and not enough on recovery and post-recovery. They're all equally important.
Jun 04, 2011 Kay rated it liked it
The topic is timely of course, but this is in no way the best memoir that I have read.
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Stephanie Covington Armstrong is a playwright and screenwriter living in Los Angeles. Her commentary on black women and eating disorders, "Digesting the Truth," was featured on NPR. She has written for Essence, Sassy, Mademoiselle, and Venice magazines, among other publications. She authored the screenplay for Contradictions of the Heart (20th Century Fox), starring Vanessa Williams, and her plays ...more
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