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.
Yes because there is valuable insight to learn from as well as relate to.
the interviews with other people to help tell one mans story. It is very uniquely done.
I enjoyed much of the humor. When we can laugh at ourselves, we are more likely to make positive efforts to keep moving forward.
I prefer to listen while I work. Six hours of listening would require more physical activity than just sitting, but it can be done.
I think the making of this book was a great idea. It gives insight to many aspects of very common human experiences. This book will hold value in the minds of many who read/listen to it.
I haven't read a book that can put me to sleep as quickly as this one. It must come with a warning to not listen to it while driving or operating heavy machinery. I cant recommend this. I don't understand why the tech community cheered about it.
B+ for effort
I was disappointed by this book, having heard BT on, for example, the TWIT podcast and finding him very funny and engaging. This book seems to have trouble deciding if it was his biography or a satire. Both, I guess, but the bio was only interesting in a few parts, and I did not find the satire to be as funny as BT is when I've heard him on podcasts. It was interesting, though, to actually *hear* the colleagues/friends he interviewed in their own words, which you wouldn't get from the written version. BT does do a good job of reading the book, and I always enjoy hearing an author's reading.
Besides incessant listening to audiobooks, I also read on my Kindle at night, birdwatch, garden (roses, daylilies), and do genealogy.
This book was an easy, enjoyable read. While the humor was there, I think the main purpose of this author was encouragement and education. I feel more enlightened and will pursue more books like this. Baratunde did a fantastic job of narrating his book. I particularly liked the taped interviews in the actual voices of those who contributed. Highly recommended if you have any interest in black culture.
I love the chapter on how to be a good black employee!! This is a great perspective to share with others that work in a corporate setting.
It says all of those things you wanted to say but didn't quite know how to articulate it.