Priscille B. Fatuma
3 min readJul 27, 2021

Book Review: Tangela Williams-Spann’s “Sad, Black, and Fat: Musings from the Intersection”

Copyright 2021 Tangela Williams-Spann

“The Floor Isn’t Lava,”

she said. The first thing I noticed while reading Tangela Williams-Spann’s Sad, Black, and Fat: Musings from the Intersection, was how personal everything in it was. From the searing poetry to the harsh life lessons in essay format, there was too much to unpack here; hence I’m positive the author can agree she’s made every potential reader a part of her circle of trust forever.

The last time I read a friend’s diary I was still in primary school. From that time up to now, I’ve concluded that most people won’t share their vulnerabilities with anybody for fear of being exploited or betrayed. The courage that jumped through the pages of this book was astounding and worthy of my respect.

As a sucker for poetry, I found the mix of sadness and positivity delivered through those poems and essays enchanting. Like a combination of sweet melody and grief. It was also my first time learning about the ins and outs of bariatric surgery (to think I didn’t even know it was called such).The story was shocking and beautiful and I think it’s thanks to Tangela’s straight-to-the-point storytelling. I’m not one of her students, but I think she’s a great teacher.

For foodies like me, this book is a reminder that one man’s meat is another man’s poison. It is also a call to empathy. In addition to mental illness and disability, this book explores topics such as race, interracial marriage, self-esteem, and has a unique take on motherhood (it’s unlike any other I’ve seen).

Sad, Black and Fat is a great read for those who ask themselves what it is like to manage relationships, career, mental illness, and physical illness amid tensions or expectations that don’t align with one’s ideals. And in my opinion, Tangela Williams-Spann handled her hurdles like a champion.

This book is proof that your goals are achievable regardless of where you’re starting. In the last pages, the author tells us her success with weight loss was due to her planning her steps in advance, which is advice that applies to any and every goal. Some scenarios about her weight loss journey give us a peek into the intimidating challenges a fat person must overcome, such as:

“People tended to give the new fat person in the gym large amounts of side-eye.”

Life isn’t a straight line, and it’s refreshing to have an opportunity to share with others what you’ve learned going through those twists and turns. I want to thank the author for sending me a review copy of Sad, Black, and Fat: Musings from the Intersection in exchange for my honest review. Readers should look forward to an interesting, bold, and timely call to self-reflection this coming August. You can pre-order it on Amazon here.

Priscille B. Fatuma

Priscille is a Congolese writer, podcaster, and content marketer interested in literature, mental health, the creator economy, and online businesses.