The book is well-organized into socially relevant sections. Each is dealt with by including fact, personal experience and a diverting array of "Black Experts." The audience is dealt with much in the way a stand up comic addresses the audience: even when you, the listener, are not the subject of discussion, the discussion entertains you.
I've been somewhat familiar with Mr. Thurston from other digital venues, so was glad to learn more details about his past and perspective.
He's an excellent reader. In general, when an author is a good reader, I want him to perform his book. That way I know the emphasis is properly placed. In the section where he reads a seriously-angry-black-teen speech he wrote (as a teen), he reads it with his adult tongue firmly in cheek.
In the end, it's lighthearted; no a book you'd go to for detailed social or political history. (He works for The Onion, for crying out loud!) Still, if everyone in the US could adopt the spirit of the book when addressing our divisive, complicated racial history, we'd be better able to share our disappointments and applaud our progress together.
It's an easy listen, a fun listen. Though I don't personally re-listen to books, if I walked into a room where it was playing, I'd definitely listen--and smile--again.
Say something about yourself!
As a white Canadian, I didn't really think I would learn how to be black in America! I downloaded this book primarily for a laugh or two, but ended up learning and thinking about my own perceptions of what it's like to be black in America. The content is entertaining and thought provoking and Baratunde's audio performance is fabulous.
Awesome book. Whatever you probably think this book is, it is probably not.
Baratunde is hilarious! I probably enjoyed the audio more than I would have enjoyed reading the words. The audiobook also contains recorded interviews.
I listened in just several sessions. It is a very easy listen.
Funny, serious, mind-opening.
This is the first I've been exposed to him, but I will be looking for more.
It certainly made me laugh. I don't think I actually cried, but it was very sobering without being heavy-handed.
Serious subject matter done in a mostly funny way. How to be yourself no matter what your color or background, race relations past, present and future. As a white person, I'll admit some of it was hard to hear but I'm glad I did. I also LOVE his panel and their contributions to the book. Brilliant idea. I plan to check them out individually also.
Very funny !!! Enjoy the whole thing- I never took the time to write a review but with this when I had to. I love the different point of views ,after reading this book -I felt more like an American than I ever have before👍🏽👍🏽👍🏽👍🏽👍🏽
Without doing any research on this book, I was initially turned off by it based on the title name. How much more racist can someone be? I thought it was going to be an insensitive off-the-collar book about how to be or appear to be "black" in the sense of society defining how someone acts. As someone who has been consistently told my whole life that I don't act "black enough" I shut this book down before I truly knew what it was about.
Fortunately for me, however, it kept popping up on my "should read" list. Each time, I would just scroll past it but one time I actually decided to read what this book was about. I could at least do that, right?
I discovered that it was a commentary on the black experience and culture in America. So, after learning that, I was intrigued and bought the book. My life hasn't been the same since! Baratunde Thurston recounted so many experiences, not only of his own but of several contributors, that I could relate to (such as not being "black enough"...well what does it mean to "be black"?!). There was discussion on racism within our community, how Africans perceive African-Americans, and a host of other topics that don't typically get talked about. It was refreshing to say the least!
I think I listened to this story in less than 3 days. I didn't want to take my earphones out! It also helped that Thurston narrated his novel along with his contributors. That alone brought personality to the words because you could hear and feel the emotions of the narrators as they told their stories.
While I didn't agree with everything that I heard, I appreciated the well-thought comments. You heard from a white man, an African, Thurston himself - who grew up middle class, a woman who was in an interracial relationship, and several others. The diversity of the contributors alone made this book special because it was not one-sided as many of these pieces can be. This book was definitely worth every penny!
Baratunde has produced a work that not only captivates the reader with humour but also with his experiences and those of his friends and colleagues. "How to Be Black" is truly an informative and enjoyable book.