The Book Report

‘Pushout,’ in review

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More stories from Jenna Clausing, Freelance Writer

The Book Report
November 11, 2019
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The Book Report

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“Pushout” is a non-fiction story about the oppression young Black women face in different institutions, specifically in educational institutions. The author, Monique W. Morris, interviews many different young Black women currently in a juvenile delinquent center to find out what their experiences with oppression have been like.

The stories shared in the novel highlight the truth of what young Black girls face on a day to day basis. They face poverty, feelings of inferiority and disrespect from their educators.

The main focus of the book is to highlight the oppression found in many schools. Morris brings in horrific stories about educators’ behavior toward young Black girls in schools.

There are stories of educators refusing to give extra help to Black girls because the educators believe the girls are not going anywhere in life. There are stories of girls as young as kindergarteners getting arrested for throwing tantrums in class.

Morris also shares stories of young Black girls, as young as twelve or thirteen, turning to prostitution in hopes of getting themselves out of poverty. Many of these girls understand how important an education is, but they see that prostitution is a quicker way out of poverty than going through the schooling necessary to get a good job.

Morris tells stories of the lives of young Black girls living in juvenile delinquent centers. All of the interviews from the book come from girls living in these centers, and their interviews reveal some harsh truths about what life is like there.

The girls in these centers do not get access to a quality education because the teachers believe the girls don’t care about their education, so they choose to not give the girls the education they deserve.

“Pushout” was definitely an interesting read. As a non-fiction book, there was a lot to learn about this oppression that is not really talked much about.

However, the book could have been better written. It seemed to get a little repetitive and it seemed like Morris was just telling the same story over and over again. The stories, although different, had very similar baselines and could have been summarized better.

One thing that the novel did well was not sugarcoating the stories. Being a non-fiction book, it is important to keep the stories real, and Morris does not leave anything out. The interviews with the girls are incredibly eye-opening and they do not hold anything back.

Having those stories and interviews of the girls residing in the juvenile detention center added a lot of credibility to this book. It made the truth of what is going on in these institutions that much more shocking, having real girls who are experiencing these very real things share their thoughts and experiences.

The book would not have had the impact that it did if Morris left out some of the more graphic details from the interviews she cited in the book.

Had Morris slimmed down the book a bit and left out some of the unnecessary aspects, this book would have been a borderline perfect depiction of the oppression that young Black girls and women face in schools and juvenile delinquent centers.

GoodReads reviewers granted Morris’s book Pushout 4.27/5 stars. Amazon reviewers gave this book 4.6/5 stars.

Clausing can be reached at [email protected]

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