Trauma. This word is buzzing around my head after I finished Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson. So many iterations and layers of trauma. So many ways it can show up in the body of a black girl and a black woman.
The trauma of a best friend who disappeared. Of lost children. Of a family taken away. Of abuse. Of a lost community.
Trauma has become a bit of a buzz word, but it is so all encompassing. Trauma doesn’t look the same to you and I and we may have different reactions. What is at the heart of the problem, however, is that our society does not have the tools to prevent nor adequately address trauma. Our very systems are traumatizing.
Monday’s Not Coming is a story all too familiar, yet not talked about enough. Claudia’s friend, Monday, goes missing, and no one seems to care enough to find her. Claudia goes to the ends of the Earth to try to find the breadcrumbs to lead her back to her best friend.
The book asks this question: Who is responsible when a [black] girl goes missing?
Is it the responsibility of the parents/family? Is it the responsibility of the community? Is it the responsibility of the state (and by state, I mean government)?
I answer this question with all of the above. It was appalling at how little thought was given to a girl like Monday. At the same time, it isn’t that surprising. A Black girl from the hood, from a poor family with a bad reputation. Girls like her get blamed for just being born into the circumstances created by pressures of a society that doesn’t care about girls like her. A perpetual cycle. All of us, in some form or fashion, are responsible for girls like Monday.
Set in D.C. during the height of the Bring Back Our Girls movement when there was finally light shined on all of the Black girls who have gone missing abroad and at home. This book frames the issue of missing girls in a personal way for people to actually see how so many girls can go missing.
All of this woven together with trauma. The disappearance of Black girls is a traumatic experience in itself. In the book we can really see what trauma can do to Black girls and women.
Somebody sing a black girl’s song.