Nando Rossi's Reviews > How to Be Black

How to Be Black by Baratunde R. Thurston
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Jan 29, 13

really liked it

(First off, I heard this on Audiobook, and I URGE you to do the same. I'm sure the book is just fine, but on the audio version you get Baratunde's narration and original recordings from the interviewees)

Wow, to think this is the debut from Baratunde Thurston. I can't wait to see what he comes up with next... This book may be funny, but the message in it couldn't be more serious and straightforward. I feel like a door was opened to me, exposing a little bit of what an American black person goes through – how they're brought up, their history, their views, challenges and conflicts – inter- or intra-racial ones.

His views and the ones of his interviewees shed a light on the current racial situation of America, and ridicules the "post-racial America" bullshit, while at the same time pointing out that being black in 2012 means a lot of different things, and those things are very different than in previous times.
There are some hilarious descriptions of the different roles a black person has to play in American society, such as "the black friend" or "the angry black man," and realizes that understanding (and laughing about) these things has positive results.

Finally, I love how he and some of his guests talk about the difference between the perception of black people in America vs. other parts of the world. I thought it was particularly enlightening to hear his African-born guest talk about how he doesn't get the black/white thing, because where he comes from, those who dominate his people look like them. I can relate to that; I come from a country where people are highly mixed, and therefore it's tough to even say who's black and who's not, and yet, we have deep social problems. Those problems come from us being humans, so demonizing anyone based on their particular skin tone is foolish.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Sheri Day I couldn't write a better review. I also listened to the audiobook and I laughed out work! Loved it.

Nando Rossi Sheri wrote: "I couldn't write a better review. I also listened to the audiobook and I laughed out work! Loved it."

Thank you so much! :)
I'm glad to see more people enjoying this awesome book.

Angela Vonschmittou Now, I have to go back and listen to the audiobook. Thanks for the rec!

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