All the horrible things are happening to Nevaeh at once--her parents have separated, her mom has disappeared emotionally, her best friend is probably about to go away to another school for a year, her dad is making her do a Bat Mitzvah for her 16th birthday, and one of her cousins is giving her a ton of grief for her light skin privilege. So yeah, her dad is Jewish, and her mom is Jamaican. She and her mom are sharing a room at their multi-generational home in Harlem, where she has to go to church every Sunday and sticks out in the congregation and in the streets like a sore thumb. On weekdays she goes to a fancy prep school in the Bronx where she has only the one friend--Stevie, who may leave her at any minute. She does have an ex-friend, though, Abby, who is viciously racist and otherwise mean.
They love the idea of diversity until they realize it means actually engaging with living, breathing Black and Brown people.
So yeah, things are rough for Nevaeh, and predictably, she doesn't always handle it well, so focused on her own problems that she doesn't see how others are struggling. What she always has, though, is words. She's a spoken word artist, and the poems are really great. Like this verse:
What I know now is that privilege is a powerful drug,
Especially if you have the freedom to feel sorry for
I appreciated Diaz's sentiment in her Dear Reader letter, too:
...sometimes it's better to accept that you don't have the right to speak on everything, even if the opportunity to do so presents itself.