by Hafizah Augustus Geter
"I say, 'the Black Period, ' and mean 'home' in all its shapeshifting ways."
A book of great hope, Hafizah Augustus Geter's The Black Period creates a map for how to survive: a country, a closet, a mother's death, and the terror of becoming who we are in a world not built to accommodate diverse identities.
At nineteen, she suddenly lost her mother to a stroke. Weeks later, her father became so heartsick that he needed a triple bypass. Amid the crumbling of her world, Hafizah struggled to know how to mourn a Muslim woman in a freshly post-9/11 America. Weaving through a childhood populated with southern and Nigerian relatives, her days in a small Catholic school, and learning to accept her own sexuality, and in the face of a chronic pain disability that sends her pinballing through the grind that is the American Dream, Hafizah discovers that grief is a political condition. In confronting the many layers of existence that the world tries to deny, it becomes clear that in order to emerge from erasure, she must map out her own narrative.
Through a unique combination of gripping memoir, history, political analysis, cultural criticism, and Afrofuturist thought--alongside stunning original artwork created by her father, renowned artist Tyrone Geter--Hafizah leans into her parents' lessons on the art of Black revision to create a space for the beauty of Blackness, Islam, disability, and queerness to flourish.
As exquisitely told as it is innovative, and with a lyricism that dazzles, The Black Period is a reminder that joy and tenderness require courage, too.
"An absolutely stunning literary experience... Hafizah Augustus Geter has written a classic." -- Kiese Laymon, author of Heavy
"A stellar example of the brilliance it requires to walk the tightrope of offering a full portrait of a life... a triumph of the form." -- Hanif Abdurraqib, author of A Little Devil in America
"In this elegiac text, a Nigerian American poet pays homage to her family while considering Black origin stories... A resonant collage of memories, soulfulness, and elective, electrifying solidarity." -- Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
About the Author:
Hafizah Augustus Geter is a Nigerian American writer, poet, and literary agent born in Zaria, Nigeria, and raised in Akron, Ohio, and Columbia, South Carolina. She is the author of the poetry collection Un-American, an NAACP Image Award and PEN Open Book Award finalist. Her writing has appeared in The New Yorker, Bomb, The Believer, The Paris Review, among many others. The poetry committee co-chair of the Brooklyn Literary Council, she is a Bread Loaf Katharine Bakeless nonfiction fellow, a Cave Canem poetry fellow, and a 92Y Women inPower Fellow and holds an MFA in nonfiction from New York University, where she was an Axinn Fellow. Hafizah lives in Brooklyn, New York.