Book Review: Tangela Williams-Spann’s “Sad, Black, and Fat: Musings from the Intersection”

Copyright 2021 Tangela Williams-Spann

“The Floor Isn’t Lava,”

The last time I had read a friend’s diary I was in primary school still. From that time up to now, I’ve concluded that most people won’t share their vulnerabilities with anybody for fear of being exploited or betrayed. The courage that jumped through the pages of this book was astounding and worthy of my respect.

As a sucker for poetry, I found the mix of sadness and positivity delivered through those poems and essays enchanting. Like a combination of sweet melody and grief. It was also my first time learning about the ins and outs of bariatric surgery. To think I didn’t even know it was called such. The story was shocking and beautiful and I think it’s thanks to Tangela’s straight-to-the-point storytelling. I’m not one of her students but I think she’s a great teacher.

For foodies like me, this book is a reminder that one man’s meat is another man’s poison. It is also a call to empathy. In addition to mental illness and disability, this book explores topics of high value such as race, interracial marriage, self-esteem and has a unique take on motherhood (it’s unlike any other I’ve seen).

Sad, Black and Fat is a great read for those who ask themselves what it is like to manage relationships, career, mental illness, and physical illness amid tensions or expectations that don’t align with one’s ideals. And in my opinion, Tangela Williams-Spann handled her hurdles like a champ.

This book is proof that your goals are achievable regardless of where you’re starting. In the last pages, the author tells us her success with weight loss was due to her planning her steps in advance, which is advice that applies to any and every goal. Some scenarios about her weight loss journey give us a peek into the ostracizing challenges a fat person must overcome, such as:

“People tended to give the new fat person in the gym large amounts of side-eye.”

Tara Emmanuel is an emerging fiction and poetry writer, content creator, and podcaster. You can catch her in The PPS Club Podcast Edition where she reads stories, reviews books, asks questions, and gives French and Lingala lessons to English speakers. Besides writing, Tara enjoys cooking, graphic design, music, and social media.

Tara is an emerging fiction writer, currently based in Kinshasa. Catch her in The PPS Club Podcast Edition, for more bookishness