We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
How to Be Black Audiobook

How to Be Black

Regular Price:$17.94
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

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

More from the same

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (760 )
5 star
 (362)
4 star
 (235)
3 star
 (109)
2 star
 (38)
1 star
 (16)
Overall
4.1 (695 )
5 star
 (311)
4 star
 (204)
3 star
 (125)
2 star
 (37)
1 star
 (18)
Story
4.4 (697 )
5 star
 (439)
4 star
 (164)
3 star
 (67)
2 star
 (13)
1 star
 (14)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Jasmine 05-07-15
    Jasmine 05-07-15 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    154
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    69
    50
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    9
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not What I Was Expecting"

    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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Keketso 03-24-15
    Keketso 03-24-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Black Comedy For Colours"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CHenry 03-19-15
    CHenry 03-19-15 Member Since 2016

    Chris Henry

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    29
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Hilarious"

    Hilarious hilarious hilarious. Buy it. Very insightful. I'm glad the author narrates. Appeals to all different kinds and ages of people.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    EW 03-08-15
    EW 03-08-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Awesome"

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

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    takingcare COLLEGE PARK, GA, United States 10-01-13
    takingcare COLLEGE PARK, GA, United States 10-01-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    26
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    17
    10
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2395
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    537
    323
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    242
    53
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
  •  
    Lemart 09-04-12
    Lemart 09-04-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    63
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.