Strangers In Another Country
5.0 out of 5 starsEnriching narratives with resonating themes
ByCourtneyon July 2, 2017
I found “Strangers In Another Country” by Lawrence G. Taylor to be an incredibly enriching read. I am always interested in reading and learning more about the range of experiences across the Black and African diasporas. I also found it refreshing to read narratives told from the first-person and second-person points of view of Black male characters. I believe that short stories that leave the reader fulfilled are particularly difficult to write, and I felt that Taylor succeeded in this. With each short story, I became invested in the quirks and self-perceived flaws of the characters and in the misfortunes and dilemmas they faced. None of the major characters appeared to be one-dimensional to me. I also appreciated the different explorations of how the Black male characters viewed professional and educational status in shaping their identities in their adopted countries. What I found particularly intriguing was that while these short stories are set in the 1960s, many of their themes resonate with what people of color and immigrants currently face today. One such theme is how frustrating and exhausting it can be for Black people to continually be conscious of how they are operating in predominately white spaces (be it on the smaller scale of a workplace to a larger scale of entire cities or countries). Similarly, when a person of color enters a white environment that is new to them, he or she often must quickly learn how to best operate to gain trust and some level of inclusion. Another important theme of “Strangers In Another Country” that is especially relevant in the current global political environment is the attitude towards immigrants. One of the characters in the last short story describes how Swedish citizens’ initial embrace of Black people into their country has waned over the years and that the “goodwill train” has effectively left. In summary, I highly recommend “Strangers In Another Country” to readers who are interested in the varied narratives of the diaspora and who are interested in the cultural themes of inclusion, solidarity, assimilation, and identity as it relates to people of color and immigrants.