Wash Day Diaries is a new graphic novel that celebrates the strength of Black women and their friendships. It tells the story of four best friends – Kim, Tanisha, Cookie, and Davene – using short comics which are all interconnected. This graphic novel is also a celebration of wash day – which is the collective day in which Black women focus all of their attention on their hair. Using hair routines, each comic allows a brief glimpse into the life of each girl.
Kim, Tanisha, Cookie and Davane each live in the Bronx but are all living different lives. From their social lives to their work lives and even to their mental health, each of them is different. The authors use the idea of wash day to bring the characters together even if they are not in the same room. I really enjoyed the dynamic of this strong group of friends.
As a white woman, I cannot fully relate to the theme of wash days. I however loved learning about it. Wash days can be an all day activities where the women fully wash, condition, nourishing, and dying their hair before styling it. Each of the characters in this graphic novel have different experiences with this day. It demonstrated that although the theme is the same, the outcome can be very different. After reading this, I found myself thinking about the context in which I have heard discussions about Black women and their hair care and realized that outside of graduate school where a couple of my classmates were Black, I have not had very much experience learning about this area.
The reason I requested Wash Day Diaries from Netgalley is because I wanted to learn more about the cultural significance of wash day for Black women. As mentioned above, my knowledge of this day was pretty limited, and reading this graphic novel opened up my understanding. This graphic novel not only deals with wash day but also looks at other issues which Black women may face such as racism, cat-calling, career issues, family drama, and depression. All the graphic are very well done and drew me even more into the story. I look forward to sharing this story with others and helping to celebrate the Black girl magic.
Rating: 4 Stars
**I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**