Angelia Vernon Menchan

Angelia Vernon Menchan is an author, publisher and public speaker who owns two publishing companies, MAMM Productions and Honorable Menchan Media. Mrs. Menchan is also a Budget Officer and former Job Corps Counselor. To date she has published twenty-three books of her own work, both fiction and non-fiction and more than eighty ebook novellas on You can access her bibliography on search words: Angelia Vernon Menchan

Contact information:
Phone numbers: 904 714 2272 904 303 2679

Monday, August 30, 2010

Substitute Me - Review

Reading Substitute Me by Lori Tharps made me think. The premise of the book was Zora, a thirty year old African American woman becomes nanny to upwardly mobile Caucasian family and somehow ends up in a relationship with the husband of the family. Seems like a cut and dry babysitter and husband get it on type novel, but it is so much more.

The story is told from the points of view of Zora, Kate, the wife and finally, the husband. And what was so intriguing were the voices of each. I was at time startled by how Kate thought about African-American women, particularly her being surprised and offended that her white husband could even be remotely interested in, sexually or otherwise with a Black woman. The way Kate thought of the gap in Zora’s teeth, or her dreadlocks or her thick but and thighs. It took me back to my own experiences when white women would literally imply that because a black girl had a big butt, or a certain texture of hair that they knew their men wouldn’t be interested. I never tried to disabuse anyone of the notion, but I knew better.

What I also know is that men and women will often say they don’t like certain things because they know that is what the partner wish to hear. However, the greater issue is how one race can invalidate another’s attractiveness because it doesn’t mesh with what they find attractive. A direct quote from Kate, was , ‘Why did I work so hard exercising, if he was attracted to that. Why would he choose her when he could have this? What is up with that? Damn.

And as hard as it is to swallow, I know it to be true. Several years ago I had women in my office ask me what was my secret in getting my man. It was so insulting, because they couldn’t see that my curly hair, toffee colored skin, abundant curves were at all appealing, because I didn’t fit in a box of what was attractive to them. Whereas I can look at a woman of any race, age or national origin and see what would make them appealing. Because I don’t see through such a narrow prism. Or maybe, because as an African American I have been taught to see other beauty. It really explains why so many young girls feel so badly about their bodies and appearance.

Substitute Me is a leisurely read that is filled with information and subtle nuances that made me think, cringe and wonder.
Angelia Menchan