In 2013, culture critic Zeba Blay was the first person to use the hashtag #carefreeblackgirls. It would go on to become a viral term celebrating Black women online.
Now, eight years later, she has published a book of pop culture essays with the same name, Carefree Black Girls, which she describes as “a meditation on what it means to be a Black woman and truly be ‘carefree.'”
For today’s book club show, Tuesday host Ali Muldrow spends the hour talking with Zeba Blay about cultural icons like Lauryn Hill and Beyoncé and what their influence and reception says about the experience of being a Black woman in America today.
Zeba Blay is a culture and film critic born in Ghana and based in New York City. She is former senior culture writer at HuffPost and has written for many major outlets. Her latest book is Carefree Black Girls: A Celebration of Black Women in Popular Culture (St. Martin’s Press, 2021).