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How to Be Black Audiobook

How to Be Black

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Publisher's Summary

Audie Award Nominee, Narration by the Author or Authors, 2013

If you don't buy this book, you're a racist.

Have you ever been called "too black" or "not black enough"?

Have you ever befriended or worked with a black person?

Raised by a pro-black, Pan-Afrikan single mother during the crack years of 1980s Washington, DC, and educated at Sidwell Friends School and Harvard University, Baratunde Thurston has over 30 years' experience being black. Now, through stories of his politically inspired Nigerian name, the heroics of his hippie mother, the murder of his drug-abusing father, and other revelatory black details, he shares with listeners of all colors his wisdom and expertise in how to be black.

Beyond memoir, this guidebook offers practical advice on everything from "How to Be the Black Friend" to "How to Be the (Next) Black President" to "How to Celebrate Black History Month."

To provide additional perspective, Baratunde assembled an award-winning Black Panel - three black women; three black men; and one white man (Christian Lander, author of Stuff White People Like) - and asked them such revealing questions as: "When did you first realize you were black?" "How black are you?" "Can you swim?"

The result is a humorous, intelligent, and audacious guide that challenges and satirizes the so-called experts, purists, and racists who purport to speak for all black people. With honest storytelling and biting wit, Baratunde plots a path not just to blackness, but one open to anyone interested in simply "how to be".

©2012 Baratunde Thurston (P)2012 HarperCollins Publishers

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What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (717 )
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4.1 (655 )
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4.4 (657 )
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Performance
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  •  
    EW 03-08-15
    EW 03-08-15
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    "Awesome"

    bravo! This was a great book I loved it everyone must buy it. Awesome read

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    takingcare COLLEGE PARK, GA, United States 10-01-13
    takingcare COLLEGE PARK, GA, United States 10-01-13
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    "Getting to the heart of matters"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes because there is valuable insight to learn from as well as relate to.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of How to Be Black?

    the interviews with other people to help tell one mans story. It is very uniquely done.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I enjoyed much of the humor. When we can laugh at ourselves, we are more likely to make positive efforts to keep moving forward.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I prefer to listen while I work. Six hours of listening would require more physical activity than just sitting, but it can be done.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Manny Dallas, PA, United States 07-21-13
    Manny Dallas, PA, United States 07-21-13 Member Since 2016
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    "If you need to sleep..."
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    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.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Baratunde Thurston again?

    Never


    What three words best describe Baratunde Thurston’s performance?

    B+ for effort


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Boredom


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carl 12-19-12
    Carl 12-19-12 Member Since 2013
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    "Disappointed"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathy Davis, CA, United States 11-22-12
    Kathy Davis, CA, United States 11-22-12 Member Since 2008

    Besides incessant listening to audiobooks, I also read on my Kindle at night, birdwatch, garden (roses, daylilies), and do genealogy.

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    "Funny but quite serious!"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Naydja Madisonville, LA, United States 10-26-12
    Naydja Madisonville, LA, United States 10-26-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Best listen ever"
    Which scene was your favorite?

    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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marie WASHINGTON, DC, United States 10-16-12
    Marie WASHINGTON, DC, United States 10-16-12 Member Since 2010

    Professional librarian type, amateur historian.

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    "Funny, moreso if you live in DC"

    Location-wise this takes place in Washington, DC in the neighborhoody part of the city. There are some cultural things you can pick up on even if you live no where near the Beltway, but knowing the area and being around the general time the author grew up here, adds some extra to it. Also it is funny. It will go along as an interesting story and then bam, something is making me laugh. It only rated 3 stars overall because there is a lot of time between laughing. In general it is humorous, but it could be funnier.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lemart 09-04-12
    Lemart 09-04-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Very Good Read"
    If you could sum up How to Be Black in three words, what would they be?

    It says all of those things you wanted to say but didn't quite know how to articulate it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    dr zeus Denver, CO USA 08-11-12
    dr zeus Denver, CO USA 08-11-12
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    "Fun listen"
    What made the experience of listening to How to Be Black the most enjoyable?

    The delivery was great and it was a fun listen.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The author has a wry humor that ranges from entertaining to hilarious. I imagine the audio version is better than the book itself as there are recorded interviews with his expert panel members.


    Have you listened to any of Baratunde Thurston’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No. But will seek them out.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    A satirical view of being yourself.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Martha Ringgold Jones 08-01-12 Member Since 2013
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    "Entertaining"

    I was interested in what the advice would be from this brilliant younger generation brother would be. He has had the educational privilege afforded to very few in this society that he has certainly deserved, due to his mother's struggle to make this happen for her children. I found the entire book interesting and his reading of it even more engaging, Baratunde is also a stand-up comic. My favorite part of the book was his reading a brilliant essay he wrote when he was in his adolescence. I felt myself wishing though out the remainder of the book he would get back in touch with that Baratunde or at least have more this aspect of his personality more integrated in his present life. He had a good panel but I wish it were more diverse in age and Black experience.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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