Talking Scared

40 – Zakiya Dalila Harris and the Fear of Not Being Black Enough

May 26, 2021 Neil McRobert Episode 40
Talking Scared
40 – Zakiya Dalila Harris and the Fear of Not Being Black Enough
Show Notes

If you’re returning to the office any time soon and you’re really bummed about it – this week’s guest will make you feel better …. cos it could be so much worse.

Zakiya Dalila Harris is the author of the much-anticipated debut, The Other Black Girl. It’s been touted as Jordan Peele’s Get Out meets The Devil Wears Prada and that’s true, there is white conspiracy and awful bosses aplenty, but I’d also suggest more than a little of the paranoid frisson of Rosemary’s Baby and the toe-curling embarrassment of The Office. 

Basically, it’s a big, fun book all about workplace prejudice, micro-aggressions and the thin veneer of equality – but, this being Talking Scared, rest assured it’s more than the sum of those everyday parts. It also goes into some weird and wicked places. 

Zakiya and I talk about her own career as the ‘only black girl in a publishing house’, the way well-meaning comments can do the most damage, and I express my anxiety about asking her ALL the questions about Blackness, like the awkward white guy at the party who insists he’d have voted for a third Obama term.

Oh, and we get into hair care. Something that’s more than a little important in this book … and y’know, in life 

I love this book and insist you all read it.


The Other Black Girl is published June 1st by Bloomsbury in the UK and Atria in North America.

Other books discussed in this episode include: 

  • All Her Little Secrets (2021), by Wanda M. Morris
  • Rosemary’s Baby (1967), by Ira Levin 

The Stephen Graham Jones open letter “from the Indians no longer in the background of a John Wayne movie” can be found HERE


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Thanks to Adrian Flounders for graphic design.

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