How to Be Black

By Baratunde Thurston
(Harper Paperbacks, Paperback, 9780062003225, 272pp.)

Publication Date: October 2012

Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover

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Description

  • Have you ever been called "too black" or "not black enough"?
  • Have you ever befriended or worked with a black person?
  • Have you ever heard of black people?
  • If you answered yes to any of these questions, this book is for you. 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 more than over thirty 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 readers 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."




    About the Author

    Baratunde Thurston is the director of digital at The Onion, the cofounder of Jack & Jill Politics, a stand-up comedian, and a globe-trotting speaker. He was named one of the 100 most influential African-Americans of 2011 by The Root and one of the 100 most creative people in business by Fast Company magazine. Baratunde resides in Brooklyn and lives on Twitter (@baratunde).




    NPR
    Monday, Feb 6, 2012

    Thurston is the son of a pro-black, pan-African mother. He straddled the worlds between his troubled neighborhood in Washington, D.C., and the elite halls of Harvard University. He speaks with host Michel Martin about some of his witty and profound thoughts on race. His new book How To Be Black is part of Tell Me More's memoir series for Black History Month. More at NPR.org

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    NPR
    Wednesday, Feb 1, 2012

    From the comedian and digital director of The Onion, a satirical self-help book for anyone who has a black friend, wants to be the next black president or speak for the black community. More at NPR.org

    NPR Audio Player Requires Flash Upgrade: Please upgrade your plug-in to view this content.




    Praise For How to Be Black

    “A hilarious blend of razor-sharp satire and memoir...Using his own story and humor, Thurston demonstrates that the best way to ‘be’ anything is to simply be yourself.”
    -Publishers Weekly

    “Terrific...How to Be Black is an assault on nostalgia--a satirical, biographic attack on the idea that ‘blackness’ or any label should be derived from historical description.”
    -Fast Company

    “A hilarious look at the complexities of contemporary racial politics and personal identity.”
    -Booklist

    Struggling to figure out how to be black in the 21st century? Baratunde Thurston has the perfect guide for you...Fans of Stuff White People Like, This Week in Blackness and other blogs that take satirical shots at racial stereotypes are sure to love How to Be Black.
    -The Root

    “One of the smartest and funniest books I’ve ever read.”
    -Christian Lander (via Twitter)

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