Nancy Martira's Reviews > How to Be Black

How to Be Black by Baratunde R. Thurston
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Apr 21, 12

bookshelves: 2012, essays, humor, kindle, race
Read from March 31 to April 20, 2012

An excellent examination of race, specifically "blackness," in 2012, with elements of satire and memoir. The content is thought-provoking, but highly approachable and the ever-charming Thurston is careful not to trigger defensive behavior from the white folk. I particularly enjoyed the chapter "How to be The Black Employee." Thurston's final chapter, "The Future of Blackness," strikes the perfect balance of, "well, we've all had a few laughs here, but seriously folks..." In his Grand Unified Theory of Blackness Thurston particularly calls out the need for

1. New Black History: teach a more complete and honest history of black people and, thus, American in far more interesting ways

2. Distributed Struggle: spreading the burden of fighting oppression more broadly across society

3. The Center for Experimental Blackness: opening up the doors of blackness by passionately embracing the eclectiv, the nonracial and whatever else suits your fancy

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Quotes Nancy Liked

“If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of being black-friendless, you can either go to the nearest black church and strike up a conversation, or just fire up Facebook, search for “black people,” and start clicking “Add Friend” on the names in the resulting lists. Technology is amazing and quite a time-saver.”
Baratunde R. Thurston, How to Be Black


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