How to Be Black Paperback – Oct 30 2012
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“A hilarious blend of razor-sharp satire and memoir...Using his own story and humor, Thurston demonstrates that the best way to ‘be’ anything is to simply be yourself.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Terrific...How to Be Black is an assault on nostalgia--a satirical, biographic attack on the idea that ‘blackness’ or any label should be derived from historical description.” (Fast Company)
“A hilarious look at the complexities of contemporary racial politics and personal identity.” (Booklist)
Struggling to figure out how to be black in the 21st century? Baratunde Thurston has the perfect guide for you...Fans of Stuff White People Like, This Week in Blackness and other blogs that take satirical shots at racial stereotypes are sure to love How to Be Black. (The Root)
“One of the smartest and funniest books I’ve ever read.” (Christian Lander (via Twitter))
From the Back Cover
If you answered yes to any of these questions, this book is for you. Raised by a pro-black, Pan-Afrikan single mother during the crack years of 1980s Washington, DC, and educated at Sidwell Friends School and Harvard University, Baratunde Thurston has more than over thirty years' experience being black. Now, through stories of his politically inspired Nigerian name, the heroics of his hippie mother, the murder of his drug-abusing father, and other revelatory black details, he shares with readers of all colors his wisdom and expertise in how to be black. Beyond memoir, this guidebook offers practical advice on everything from "How to Be the Black Friend" to "How to Be the (Next) Black President" to "How to Celebrate Black History Month."See all Product Description
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The book answers important questions like:
* Once you've gone black, can you in fact, go back?
* What's up with those funny handshakes?
* Can white men really not jump?
* How can Obama be black AND Hawaiian? Confusing.
* What sort of rims should I get on my Escalade?
* What exactly is Grape Drank?
Not really, but it is super funny, very touching, and an all round bloody smart read. Baratunde is the guy from the Onion who gave Donald Trump one of the best smack downs in internet history (Google it). His first book doesn't disappoint in the slightest.
Bottom line: read it if you like funny things, are interested in race in America, or just want to raise eyebrows on the subway a bit (the last one doesn't work for the kindle version, unfortunately).
While the book is funny - and mostly satirical - it also comments on what it actually means to be black in the U.S. today. The personal stories that Baratunde shares are heartening, informative, allegorical and more.
The interviews with people like Elon James White and Cheryl Contee are fantastic, too. Basically just a fantastic book.