Brittney Morris’ new debut “Slay” is like a love letter to the younger-you and many Black girls growing up in America establishing themselves while trying not to lose their identity. It’s not an easy walk especially since, as cultural diversity rises, so do biases and stereotypes.
Seventeen-year-old Kiera is a star-student at Jefferson Academy by day and creator of the incredible, Black-and-proud utopia video game called SLAY by night. As one of the few Black students at Jefferson she is bombarded with some White classmates’ expectations of being Black and her easily-heightened boyfriend, Malcolm who is aggressively pro-Black and anti-White, isn’t helping.
Therefore, creating SLAY and hearing from its millions of players that it provides a safe space for youth and adults to be themselves gives her the relief and freedom she needs.
Until Jamar Rice is killed over the game.
According to news reports, the Kansas-city teen was shot to death after a brawl over SLAY currency in which she was accused of being the cause as the creator of the game. Despite all the scrutiny from friends and Malcolm, Kiera fights for what she loves.
This act of bravery, in the name of preserving a safe space for the Black community to be themselves, is another example Black youth need. Our dignity, history and culture are worth celebrating and protecting, and no one can do it the way we do. Even if there is the misconception of “causing division” and so-called scholars on the news calling it “violent”, we have every right to be ourselves.
And “slay” while doing it.
Kiera’s experience is like a letter to anyone doing what they love and sharing it with others, that it’s best to keep going forward. When the heat intensified and even her boyfriend got involved—disguised as a White supremacist seeking control over SLAY—she kept fighting back even when the battle involved her own weaknesses.
Morris addresses these complexities in a neat and captivating way that digs deep within the reader. How many of us are willing to continue what we love when everyone else thinks it’s damaging humanity? Or lose relationships to protect ourselves and others?
In truth, we all could use a Kiera to refuel from.
For more information and to order your copy of “Slay”, visit authoritybrittneymorris.com