Hip Hop Activist JLOVE Releases
That White Girl – The Debut Novel Based
On Her Life in the Hood and Beyond.
What happens when a white girl flirts with the color line and crosses the border into gang territory, where the bullets are real and the rules cannot be broken? That White Girl is a fresh and hard-edged novel chronicling a young woman’s quest for self-discovery while straddling two worlds, that of her Irish Catholic upbringing, and her new family—the Crips. JLove tells this incredible story inspired by her own life. In That White Girl, Amber has a passion for Hip-Hop and a magic thumb for graffiti, but her journey begins when she becomes immersed in the power and grind of gang life after holding up a gun to an innocent man’s head during a robbery. That White Girl is a sharp and candid coming-of age-story with Hip-Hop as its backdrop that explores a young woman’s struggles and triumphs as she crosses boundaries, discovers her own limits, and finds a new way to express herself in a world divided into black and white.What People Are Saying About That White Girl…
“An honest look at a life worth reading. It was like reading a diary and wanting to reach out to the person writing the story to befriend them, so that they see that they are not alone.”
–M.C. Serch, Hip-Hop Artist, Host of Ego Trip’s the White Rapper Show
“JLove has the heart, the skills, and the underdog love to tell this deeply moving coming-of-age story the way it had to be told.”
–Jeff Chang, National Book Award author of Can’t Stop Won’t Stop
“In JLove’s masterful hands, Amber’s story taps into the dramatic difficulties of simply trying to find one’s unique place in a deeply fractured world. Here’s a voice we’ve been waiting for.”
–Luis J. Rodriguez, author of Always Running, La Vida Loca, Gang Days in LA
“That White Girl is more than just another hip hop roman-a-clef. Amidst Amber’s search for community, J Love drops many truths about race in the U.S., the challenges of growing up female, and the power of this tribe called Hip Hop.”
–Black Artemis, author of hip hop novels Explicit Content, Picture Me Rollin’ and Burn
“JLove’s story has less to do with her being white than it does with the powerful message she sends…..that in her quest for an identity, she discovers not only herself, but the cold hard reality that racism victimizes everyone, black and white alike. And maybe, just maybe, the hip hop culture and the brutal honesty that sustained her throughout her journey can become the healing vehicle for the inequities in which all of society labors. She very skillfully meshes hip hop culture and identity. Bravo JLove.”
–Roland S. Jefferson, author of One Night Stand and Damaged Goods
From AOL Black Voices
“A WHITE GIRL WHO WANTED TO BE A CRIP?”
Posted Jun 28, 2007 3:00PM by Felicia Pride; Filed under More Than Words
Why the hell would a white girl from a middle-class background want to be down with the Crips? Yes, those Crips. This is what a new novel entitled THAT WHITE GIRL by Jennifer “JLove” Calderon attempts to answer.
The novel, which is loosely based on JLove’s life, follows Amber, a white girl who is desperately searching for an identity. Amber does a lot of stupid, life-threatening, and frustrating things just to get a rep. She gets down with the local Crips through a childhood friend and accompanies the gang on robbing sprees. She treats gang life like a game although it is the dangerous reality of many. And she wears her naivety like she does the Crips’ gang colors.
The book reads like a young adult novel and it’s obvious that Amber’s youth has a lot to do with her poor decision-making. But as you read THAT WHITE GIRL, you realize as Amber does, that it wasn’t just luck on her side during her many silly escapades, it was also her whiteness.
What I liked about THAT WHITE GIRL is that the book explores a white female’s struggle with her privilege. A struggle that you don’t hear about often. From reading an advanced reader’s copy, it’s obvious that JLove is now an educator and activist because she slips in important issues like racism, sexism, and economic disparities into the novel, which at the surface, could seem like a tale about a white girl who wants to walk in the shoes of black and brown folks without carrying any of the burden.
But THAT WHITE GIRL is more than that. It’s a story that you don’t read about often: a white person who flirts with the color lines but not purely out of boredom or trend-following, but because she actually wants to see people unified. And this story, JLove’s life story, could have ended in many unproductive ways. She could have looked at her time involved with gangs as childhood nonsense and moved on without any insight or desire to make a difference. But thankfully, Amber (JLove) took her experiences and translated them into a way to help others, mobilize other confused youth, and try to bring folks of all walks of life together. Everything she craved while she was coming of age.
“THAT WHITE GIRL” in Bookstores August 2007!
JLove is also the co-author of
“WE GOT ISSUES! A YOUNG WOMAN’S GUIDE TO A BOLD,
COURAGEOUS AND EMPOWERED LIFE”