13. Kinky Gazpacho: Love, Life, & Spain

by Lori L. Tharps
started 3/13/08 finished 3/20/08

Years ago I read a magazine article that I now can’t remember what it was about. But it was somehow mentioned that Lori L. Tharps was married to a man from Spain and she spent part of her time living there. At the time I had so many questions: Where does an African-American female meet and marry a man from Spain? How do you manage to live abroad? How much money does that take? etc.
I was halfway through reading this book before I realized that this was the story I heard about all those years ago and all my questions were being answered.
As a Black girl growing up in the Midwest in predominately white communities, Lori L. Tharps was used to being the “exotic other”. While her upbringing was pretty normal, being surrounded by people not like her made her quest to find her own identity taking her on unexpected journeys: studying abroad in Morocco in high school, trying to fit in with the Black Student Union in college, and finally another chance to study abroad in college, this time in Spain.
I loved this book. I am a firm believer that we are citizens of the world, and while America is a great country, we should try to see as much of the rest of the planet as possible (my wallet is not on board with idea yet, so we read about it!). Ms. Tharps determination to see the world and open herself to new experiences has changed her life in an incredible way and this book illustrates it.
I recommend this book to all lovers of world cultures and especially to young people in high school or college to show them the opportunities to learn that are out there. And you get a great love story as a bonus!

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