While I make a point to read women of color as much as possible, that is also what I naturally gravitate towards. In their stories, I find my own. This is the case with Shailja Patel’s Migritude. It’s a poetic memoir with political history weaved in. Patel tells a story that I can relate to as an immigrant woman of color. She paints a portrait of family history and women’s lives in particular, imperial violence and the migrant journeys they take. Patel herself was born in Kenya and lived in both England and the United States. She is also a performance artist and the book sometimes reads as a performance because of this.
It’s a deeply satisfying read and while it’s extremely personal, it was also relatable because Patel address the wider political issues of empire, injustice, colonialism and what it means to be an immigrant. I can’t recommend enough.