“And another thing, Carla, good people come in all colors and types, just the same as bad people. But you're just too scared to find that out!” -April Sinclair, COFFEE WILL MAKE YOU BLACK
April Sinclair's COFFEE WILL MAKE YOU BLACK (Harper Collins, Adult ) is considered adult fiction though it tells the story of an African American girl named Stevie from ages 12 to 16 living in Chicago from 1965 to 1970. The story begins with 'tween Stevie asking her mother what a virgin is. When Stevie is 16, she tries to lose her virginity to her boyfriend but couldn't go through with it. Her boyfriend breaks up with her and her best friend harshly tears into her for not giving in to the boyfriend. At the end of the book, Stevie considers that she might be attracted to a woman.
What makes COFFEE memorable to me is that it's one of the first books I've read where the main protagonist has to struggle with both racial issues and her sexuality simultaneously. I read the sequel too.
While I lived in San Francisco, I saw April Sinclair once. (Her bio says she lives in the Bay Area.) My nerves took over and I didn't know what to say or do. So I just smiled at her in passing, and she smiled back. To this day, I still regret not stopping to tell her how much I enjoyed her books.
Have you read April Sinclair's COFFEE WILL MAKE YOU BLACK? Have you ever had a friend who was unsupportive at a time when you needed support?