Dionisia's Reviews > Negropedia: The Assimilated Negro's Crash Course on the Modern Black Experience

Negropedia by Patrice Evans
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's review
Oct 04, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: humor, essays, nonfiction, first-reads, north-america, own
Read from December 05, 2011 to January 11, 2012 , read count: 1

Suitable for all melanin levels. Teeheehee. I wish the book as a whole was as enjoyable to read as the title. Instead it ended up being a big ole disappointment. The good news is I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads. Sure, there were giggles in the beginning and a chuckle or two at the end. It's the lackluster middle (pretty much the majority of the book) that brought it down. Negropedia is broken up into nine main sections. Here's what this "Swirl" (i.e. too mixed for the world to understand, p.67) thought of them...

Black Is the New Black...A Primer to Blackness for All and for None
Off to a great start. I thought the pitch for the Nine-Step Nouveau Negro Assimilation Program (aka NoNap) was funny and a great way to set the tone for the book. It also introduced the first few "Ghetto Pass" segments. You know, in case you need to brush up on some ghetto institutions but don't actually want to venture too far out of your comfort zone. Curious about Gypsy cabs? Patrice Evans has got you covered. BTW, in Pittsburgh an unlicensed taxi is called a jitney.

The Little Black Book...Dating on the Color Line
Hit and miss. The letters from "A Black Guy" and "A Black Woman" were pretty tired. The call for a mediocre black chick appreciation program was cringe-worthy. Mostly because I know there are still quite a few people who think dark = mediocre. This section also touches on the topic of interracial dating and offers an answer to the niggling question "Can I have sex with a Racist?" (Yes!)

The Black List...The Hall of Hallowed Negroes
A lot of filler. Quick! Think of a famous black person of any ilk. Yeah, they are probably mentioned here somewhere. There are some bright spots, like an essay on "keeping it real" and a general introduction to Five Percenters.

The Hip-Hop Genome Project...Black Is Something You Do, Hip-Hop Is Something You Live
Pretty straight forward stuff. Lots O' Lists. Which rapper should you be? Cipher demographics. The seven emcees you meet in hip hop. Yada yada yada.

Fade to Black...Welcome to Blollywood
This section opens with a Ghetto Pass on "black movie theaters" and I LOLed. Magic Johnson Theater, anyone? Also, the author reeeeeally doesn't like the movie Crash.

Ballers...Don't Hate the Player
Some more yawn-worthy anecdotes, but this time on black people in sports.

Ballin'...Change the Uniform
Baggy jeans. Black people fashion brands. Blipsters. I was a bit confused when reading "Blipsters hate hip-hop unless they are spoofing it..." and then seeing Evans turn right around by listing Andre 3000 and Kanye West as blipster role models. Wait, what??

In the Black...Color-Blind Capitalism
Happy to see Evans mentioned McDonald's hilarious attempts to appeal to the black consumer by way of the R&B and hip-hop jingles in their advertisements. Nearly impossible to watch or hear them without rolling my eyes.

Toward a Postracial Apocalypse
Loved "The Nine Stages of Gentrifranchise Hell." It's currently happening to a neighborhood in Pittsburgh called East Liberty....or should I say Eastside. Ugh!! I'll spare you the rant. A multiplex is already in the works. This will include a movie theater and a modern (read: high-end) barbecue restaurant called Union Pig and Chicken (sigh).

Ultimately, I say give this a pass and watch The Boondocks instead for a funny, yet thought-provoking take on the modern black experience.
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Reading Progress

12/05/2011 page 14
6.0% "Only a few pages in and already weirding people out with my incessant giggling."
12/06/2011 page 67
28.0% "This is book f*ing foolish. I guess I'm "The Swirl." I laugh and shake my head at the same time."
12/12/2011 page 153
64.0% "This has lost steam toward the middle. Oh no!"
12/13/2011 page 195
81.0% ""Now, we know McDonald's appeals to black people in their advertisi--the jingle writers for Mickey D's may be underrated as the largest providers of generic R&B and hip-hop music in America." (p. 192)"
01/10/2012 page 240
100.0% "Eh."

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