Diamond Sharp’s Super Sad Black Girl is a love letter to her hometown of Chicago, where the speaker finds solace and community with her literary idols in hopes of answering the question: What does it look like when Black women are free?
Lorraine Hansberry and Gwendolyn Brooks appear throughout these poems, counseling the speaker as she navigates her own depression and exploratory questions about the “Other Side,” as do Sandra Bland, Rekia Boyd, and other Black women who have been murdered by police.
Sharp’s poetry is self-assured, playful, and imaginative, reminiscent of Langston Hughes with its precision and brevity. The book explores purgatorial, in-between spaces that the speaker occupies as she struggles to find a place and time where she can live safely and freely. With her skillful use of repetition, particularly in her series of concrete poems, lines and voices echo across the book so the reader, too, feels suspended within Sharp’s lyric moments. Super Sad Black Girl is a compassionate and ethereal depiction of mental illness from a promising and powerful poet.