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

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  110 Ratings  ·  15 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
Paperback, 272 pages
Published August 1st 2009 by Chicago Review Press (first published January 1st 2009)
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Dec 13, 2009 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 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.
Dia Jones
Aug 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A powerful coming of age novel

This book is as much a coming of age novel as it is about eating disorders. It's such an important memoir as the intersection of eating disorders and race has been constantly and dangerously overlooked. My only wish is that the "After" section or the recovery section was filled with more of the rich details that the other portions of the books had. Warning: this book is an emotionally hard read. Trigger warnings for food insecurity, child molestation, rape, and eati
May 12, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 stars* The beginning of the book was entrancing, however, once we got closer to (and into) her addiction she began to lose me. I agree with other reviews that note that her view towards her sister's abusive relationships were troublesome since it indicated a belief that abusive relationships were a choice.
Wagatwe Wanjuki
Jun 21, 2011 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
Spook Harrison
Sep 06, 2015 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
Lutfah Subair
Apr 16, 2014 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.
Jul 17, 2009 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.
Jan 03, 2010 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.
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 21, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: 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.
Oct 14, 2011 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.
Oct 11, 2010 rated it liked it
The topic is timely of course, but this is in no way the best memoir that I have read.
Jun 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Bonnie Limbird
Jun 08, 2014 marked it as to-read
Recommended by@fyeahmfabello.
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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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