Far Away from Close to Home - Essays
Publisher: Three Rooms Press
“Vivid and relatable. The writing is like Vanessa herself; funny, charming and brave.” —Mindy Kaling Through a series of extraordinary, incisive, often-humorous essays, Emmy Award-winning actor Vanessa Baden Kelly examines what the idea of “home” means to a Black millennial woman. How important is race to the idea of community? What are the consequences of gentrification on the life of a young Black woman? What aspects of a community help—or hurt—a family with a young child? In these profound, intimate essays, Baden has found a space where she can work out thoughts and feelings she feels unsafe saying out loud. As she processes the initial ideas more fully, her essays evolve from personal stories to fully-realized communiques of a generation of Black women who are finding a new sense of both belonging and ostracism in private, work, and public life. A single ride on a Los Angeles public bus that begins with the overwhelming odor of a man sleeping across one of the seats travels through a range of ideas and choices: “choosing” to sit in the back of the bus; the interconnectedness of living in a majority-Black community in the Crenshaw district; the segregation and gentrification of Los Angeles; the challenges of raising a child in a modern urban environment. Underlying the theme of each essay are questions of how a Black millennial woman can find “home” anywhere when confronted with its invasion by police, men, and society’s expectations.