Traveling Without Moving: Essays From A Black Woman Trying To Survive In America - Paperback

Traveling Without Moving: Essays From A Black Woman Trying To Survive In America

Coleman, Taiyon

The Fair Housing Act passed in 1968, and more than fifty years later, yours seems to be the only Black family on your block in Minneapolis. You and your Black African husband, both college graduates, make less money than some White people with a felony record and no high school diploma. You’re the only Black student in your graduate program. You just aren’t working hard enough. You’re too sensitive. Sandra Bland? George Floyd? Don't take everything so personally. Amid the White smiles of Minnesota Nice and the Minnesota Paradox—the insidious racism of an ostensibly inclusive place to live—what do you do? If you’re Taiyon J. Coleman, you write.

In Traveling without Moving, Coleman shares intimate essays from her life: her childhood in Chicago—growing up in poverty with four siblings and a single mother—and the empowering decision to leave her first marriage. She writes about being the only Black student in a prestigious and predominantly White creative writing program, about institutional racism and implicit bias in writing instruction, about the violent legacies of racism in the U.S. housing market, about the maternal health disparities seen across the country and their implication in her own miscarriage. She explores what it means to write her story and that of her family—an act at once a responsibility and a privilege—bringing forth the inherent contradictions between American ideals and Black reality.

Using a powerful blend of perspectives that move between a first-person lens of lived experience and a wider-ranging critique of U.S. culture, policy, and academia, Coleman’s writing evinces how a Black woman in America is always on the run, always Harriet Tubman, traveling with her babies in tow, seeking safety, desperate to survive, thrive, and finally find freedom.


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