📚 Black Lotus: A Woman’s Search for Racial Identity by Sil Lai Abrams 📚
TITLE: Black Lotus: A Woman’s Search for Racial Identity
AUTHOR: Sil Lai Abrams
PUBLISHER: Gallery Books/Karen Hunter Publishing
RATING: ☕️☕️☕️☕️ Intriguing memoir
“Like a slow, steady bass line, Sil Lai viscerally draws you into her aching journey to find her place in the world.”
—NILE RODGERS, Grammy award–winning composer, producer, cofounding member of CHIC, and author of Le Freak: An Upside Down Story of Family, Disco, and Destiny
From her humble beginnings in a white, lower-middle-class family to a career in modeling that propelled her into the upper echelons of New York City nightlife, Sil Lai Abrams shares her unique and exquisitely wrought account of a woman’s journey toward self-love and acceptance in a family that sought to deny her black heritage.
Author and activist Sil Lai Abrams was born to a Chinese immigrant mother and a white American father. At the age of five, her family was ripped apart by a divorce that would erase her mother from her life. In the wake of her absence, Abrams was left alone to grieve her mother’s disappearance and reconcile the growing realization that there was truly something different about her from the rest of her family members.
She was the only one in her family with a tousle of wild curls and brown skin. As a convenient lie, based in part on the desire to raise his children in a race-neutral household, her father would explain that her skin was darker than the rest of the family because she was born in Hawaii. At the age of fourteen, the man she thought was her birth father made the bombshell revelation that Abrams was not his biological child: that, in fact, she was the daughter of a man of African descent who didn’t know of her existence.
This shocking news would take her down a painful road to forge an authentic ethnic identity in spite of the overt bigotry in her community and her own internalized racism and self-hatred. A teenage runaway and high school dropout, Abrams would struggle with single parenthood, depression, abuse, and an alcohol addiction that nearly destroyed her. Eventually, she would begin a path to healing that helped her leave behind the shame over her birthright and move toward a celebration of her blackness.
In Black Lotus, Abrams invites readers along on her unpredictable odyssey filled with extreme highs and lows as she reassembles her psyche by sifting through the broken fragments of her family’s past. Her story will provoke readers to reexamine everything they think they know about racial identity while affirming the ability of the human spirit to triumph over tragedy. Black Lotus shines a light on the transformative power of self-actualization, personal accountability, and the importance of living authentically and unapologetically in spite of family or societal opposition.
I was sent this book for an honest review.