I love discovering new authors through Twitter writing chats. That’s how I met Tangela Williams-Spann. When she had put a call out to podcasters a few weeks ago, I let her know I was interested in interviewing her! I was so happy when she accepted, and the plan is to have Tangela Williams-Spann as a guest for S2 of In the ’Cosm, coming this fall!
But not only did I want to do the interview because this author is a lovely human, Williams-Spann also wrote a book with a title I could not ignore—Sad, Black, and Fat: Musings from the Intersections. As I began to read the eARC, I was immediately taken in:
I know mental health is taboo in the Black community.
I’m hoping that my honesty helps to normalize talking about mental health with Black folks.Tangela Williams-Spann, Introduction chapter
Sad, Black, and Fat is a collection of short personal essays and poems about Williams-Spann’s lived experiences with managing mental health, being a Black woman, and balancing weight for health reasons while staying body positive. As the full title implies, Williams-Spann also shows the intersections between these lived experiences.
As a reader, I felt the way you do when a friend trusts you with their diary. Williams-Spann lets us partake in her strengths and vulnerabilities throughout her non-fiction storytelling, even giving us an idea what going through the preparation and aftermath of bariatric surgery was like for her. (Btw, William-Spann’s spouse seems like a really nice guy, but when I read that he ate a bacon cheeseburger in front of her as she was prepping with a liquid diet, I shouted aloud, “DUDE!”)
Even though the author doesn’t ignore ugly truths, Williams-Spann somehow always bring us to a place of hope, in how she presses on while self-checking when to pause.
Not allowing your feelings the space to exist is a form of self-harm in my mind.Tangela Williams-Spann, The Floor Isn’t Lava
I always tend to cheer when fellow authors who manage mental illness aren’t afraid to “go there.” The candour throughout this work is so refreshing.
I highly recommend this book and admire the author even more than I did before I read it. You can learn more about Tangela Williams-Spann by following her author website and connecting with her on Twitter!
Cait Gordon is a disability advocate for the written word who is trying to tackle her TBR pile during a pandemic!
Cait is also the author of humorous space opera novels Life in the ’Cosm and The Stealth Lovers, and she is the co-editor of the Prix Aurora Award nominated anthology Nothing Without Us. When Cait’s not writing, she’s editing manuscripts and running The Spoonie Authors Network, a blog whose contributors manage disabilities and/or chronic conditions. Her latest new adventure is hosting the In the ’Cosm podcast, which is really an excuse to gush over creative humans she admires.