Skip to main content

Book Review: How To Be Black

Comedian, blogger, author Baratunde Thurston takes a satirical look at the notion of blackness while also raising some of the dilemma's society creates for those that are black. With the help of his 'black panel', a group of race keen comedians and writers, one of which is white (for diversity), Thurston raises topics on being 'the black friend', the second black President and the black spokesperson. Thurston also uses his upbringing to validate black experiences such as being an ethnic minority in the classroom and the need to balance ones blackness in order to be perceived approachable to non-blacks while not being written off as an 'oreo' by your black community.

While surprise surprise Thurston is American the book very relatable for those of us across the pond and is a light hearted read even when the topic being discussed is on race. The book is a recommended read for anyone of any ethnicity as long as they have had some kind of contact with blackness (be it the people, or by way of television). With the readers ethnicity aside the book will have you questioning your perceptions of blackness (and thats not a bad thing).

Thurston takes the cringe factor out of the race debate and points out in the book that many black people like white people feel just as unconformable in the continual and tedious discussions on race and racism. I especially liked Thurston and the black panels final discussion on the future handling of race and racism, with many of the ideas raised in this discussion close to my own such as the inclusion of black (and other races) history into a more accurate retelling of the world's history. 

As Thurston discusses at the beginning of the book, if your going to buy any 'black books' this black history month this should be one of the books to purchase!

FYI - Britain black history month starts tomorrow (October) so get buying ;0)


Popular posts from this blog

Music Review: The Weeknd Trilogy

Rarely do I buy new music these days, with it being even more of a rarity that I buy music from male artists. Reason being that I just can not stomach the lies and hypocrisy commercially viable male solo artists spin with their predictable music and unoriginal public image clashing fiercely with the reality of their private lives.

With music today being so limited in the topics sung about and (in making myself sound old - which I'm not) the lack of experience, soul and true artistry in today's predominately young artists, I was surprised and delight to find out about Canadian singer The Weeknd. I'm told that this artist has actually been around for a while, though it is only now that The Weeknd's music is reaching commercial heights with the song Wicked Games played regularly on the radio. While I have liked the song since hearing it, it wasn't until I had seen its music video that I really became interested in what this young male solo artist has to offer.


Rise Of The Beta Male

Interesting article in last week’s Shortlist discussing the demise of the 'Alpha' male and rise of the 'Beta' male.
In a nutshell, the article was discussing recent culture changes in male behaviour and attitudes which has contributed to the emergence of the Beta male.
Beta males are smart sensitivity men who invest in their appearance, they are said to have turned their backs on the old Alpha male ways of male domination, aggression and exploitation, instead they embody intelligence, charisma and are liberal thinking. According to the article beta males are changing the way we do business!

I was pleased to see that the article had made a connection with this new male attitude and behaviour to the adaption (for the better) to the feminist movement and the study's of masculinity, since the process of women demanding and slowly achieving gender equality has encouraged many men to relieve themselves of the emotional castration once promoted as the alpha male image of…

Book Review: We Real Cool: Black Men and Masculinity

We Real Cool take's a deep look at black masculinity and offers up a fantastic critical analyst of the pros and cons of being a black male in the US.
Hooks acknowledges early in the book that as a female her view point on this subject maybe subjective, though We Real Cool is written with much intellect and heart. It is with great passion for her black males that Hooks writes with, saying that the lack of critical writings on the subject by black males was the catalysis for why she wrote the book.

The book is a real eye opener on the issues and daily assault out black males face and easily related to black males in the UK. Hooks dicusses black male incarceration, Hip-Hop & gang culture, black male misogyny and absentee fatherhood. As a female reader the book spoke volumes to me, and in usual fashion Hooks drew from her personal experiences and relationships with black males when writting the book. This not only helped draw parallels between the black males in my life (i.e. fat…