I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual was my introduction to the Luvvie Ajayi. I don’t know what I was expecting. Maybe the African version of the many social media personalities out there. But I am happy to say, I got more than what I bargained for!
The start of her book is simple, passing judgement onto crappy friends and bad relationship choices. I’m reading along (listening along) and all of a sudden, I get slapped in the face with some truth about racism in America. And while unexpected, it was a pleasant surprised. And then she finishes out the book talking about your auntie that needs to get off social media because she can’t use hashtags correctly.
I totally have that aunt who has made several Facebook pages because she kept forgetting her passwords.
If you have someone you want to spring all kinds of issues on because they are low key (or high key) problematic, this is the book to give/recommend them! If they ask you about it after the fact, you can innocently claim that it was just so funny that you have to share with people 😏
Everything Luvvie is judging the rest of us for, I’m right there judging us too. I was trying to get better with my judginess, but after I read what she’s judging all of us for, I loosened that goal considerable. Thank god we all wear masks now so you can’t tell how hard I am judging, although my eyebrows and the number of times I blink (that’s one of my unfortunate tells when I think something is stupid) give me away.
One thing that was a fresh perspective was her take as a literal African American and how Americans fetishize and appropriate Africaness. I wonder is if she feels the same way about Black Americans. We also promote this reduced image of Africa and refer to it like it’s a country and not a whole ass continent with 54 separate countries (and don’t give me that “But people refer to Europe as a country too!” because that’s only where most of the more brown people live and we are just fine differentiating the UK from France and Spain, etc.). It is almost as if Africa exists only from us to pilfer from. Thanks colonialism!
Now I was kinda called out recently for saying I like Luvvie and was told she is problematic. I did my research about a certain tweet regarding Tevin Campbell and this is my verdict: I don’t think she was saying Tevin Campbell has no talent, and I still like her. I understand that this came off as a bash to a black cultural era she was not a part of, but I think cancel culture was out of hand. You can call her out on her ignorance of Tevin Campbell, but I don’t think this should be grounds to slander everything she stands for. I can’t judge her because my first intro to Tevin Campbell was Powerline from A Goofy Movie. I could go on about this, but that’s another post in itself.
Luvie has the success story I want. Blogger turned author turned respected social commentator? This is my dream. I gotta put in some more years and hard work, but I’m gonna keep at it.
This movement for anti-racism books are great and I have thoroughly enjoyed most of the ones that have been sold out for months, but this is a refreshing break from all the seriousness, but a way to keep doing the work. If you find yourself burned out from learning, pick this one up, guilt free! Like eating low-fat jello for dessert (except I actually like this book and I detest jello)!