Dawn Turner’s Three Girls From Bronzeville

For many of us, there comes a moment when we wonder just how we landed where we are. We may wonder, too, how our paths ended up so different from those of the people closest to us. For journalist Dawn Turner, these questions didn’t just linger in her brain. She spent years interviewing her friends, teachers, relatives, and others, seeking answers. She grew up in Bronzeville, enveloped in the loving friendship of her sister and best friend. But soon the three girls, who were as tight as a freshly braided cornrow, ended up on very different paths. Some of it was the choices they made, but some was connected to structures and systems, to opportunities and influences. Turner’s elegant memoir, Three Girls From Bronzeville, which came out last September, isn’t a wistful, nostalgic walk through her past. Instead, it’s a revealing interrogation that challenges the status quo and forces us to reckon with privilege and our individual investments in respectability politics. She has ideas on how we can ensure all Black girls thrive and reach their full potential. But I read Three Girls ultimately as an instruction manual on how to love each other through everything: crises, tragic moments, and all life’s other lows and highs.