Who's Afraid of Post-Blackness? (Paperback)

What It Means to Be Black Now

By Touré, Michael Eric Dyson (Foreword by)

Atria Books, 9781439177563, 288pp.

Publication Date: July 10, 2012

Other Editions of This Title:
MP3 CD (9/13/2011)
Hardcover (9/13/2011)
Pre-Recorded Audio Player (9/13/2011)

List Price: 16.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Now in paperback, “one of the most acutely observed accounts of what it is like to be young, Black, and middle-class in contemporary America…told in a distinctive voice that is often humorous…but always intensely engaging” (Orlando Patterson, The New York Times).

In this provocative book, writer and cultural critic Touré explores the concept of Post-Blackness: the ability for someone to be rooted in but not restricted by their race. Drawing on his own experiences and those of 105 luminaries, he argues that racial identity should be understood as fluid, complex, and self-determined.

About the Author

Touré is a writer, TV host, and host of the influential podcast The Touré Show. He writes for Rolling Stone, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Washington Post, The Nation, Vogue, and many other publications. A former cohost of MSNBC’s The Cycle, he is also the author of Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness?, a New York Times and Washington Post Notable Book, and three other books. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and daughter.

Praise For Who's Afraid of Post-Blackness?: What It Means to Be Black Now

“One of the most acutely observed accounts of what it is like to be young, black and middle-class in America. Toure inventively draws on a range of evidence . . . for a performance carried through with unsparing honesty, in a distinctive voice that is often humorous, occasionally wary and defensive, but always intensely engaging.” —Orlando Patterson, The New York Times Book Review

“The ever provocative Touré boldly articulates the complicated issues of self and racial identity in the age of Obama.” —Vanity Fair

"A welcome response to the 'self-appointed identity cops' who would arrest and banish those they consider insufficiently black. Perceptively analyze[s] a new sensibility in black art and culture to illustrate the complex and fluid racial identification Touré dubs 'post-blackness.' "—The San Francisco Chronicle

“This book is quintessential Touré: smart, funny, irreverent, and provocative as hell. Rejecting old school racial dogma and new school myths about post-raciality, he offers a powerful and original thesis on the status of Blackness in the 21st century. Through his sharp analysis and honest reflections, Touré challenges us to embrace a more mature, sophisticated, and ultimately liberating notion of racial identity. Any serious conversation on race and culture must begin with this book.”

—Dr. Marc Lamont Hill, Columbia University Professor and host of “Our World With Black Enterprise”

Who's Afraid of Post-Blackness is a necessary book. To fulfill your potential as an individual or as a people, you need a clear sense of self. Touré has done the difficult but liberating work of moving the discussion of race beyond the Black Power-era thinking of the 1970's into the 21st Century.”

— Reggie Hudlin, filmmaker

“Touré candidly tackles a burning issue confronting us today. Black America is undeniably a community 'free, but not equal,' and people from all walks of life are compelled to devise new approaches to confronting today's structural inequalities. Here Touré explores insights from many perspectives to help guide the way.”

—Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr.

“A fascinating conversation among some of America’s most brilliant and insightful Black thinkers candidly exploring Black identity in America today. Touré powerfully captures the pain and dissonance of Black Americans’ far too often unrequited love for our great nation.”

—Benjamin Todd Jealous, President and CEO of the NAACP

Who's Afraid of Post-Blackness is a tour de force! I applaud Touré’s courage in standing up and telling it like it is. This special book will make you think, laugh, cry—and it will make you look at race and at yourself differently.”

—Amy DuBois Barnett, Editor-in-Chief, Ebony

“Touré has taken a question I have asked myself uncountable times over the course of my life and asked it of everyone: ‘What does it mean to be Black?’ The answers in this book are thought-provoking, uplifting, hilarious and sometimes sad. His sharp writing and self-effacing stories help digest some hard facts about how identity can be used for and against each of us – and why it matters so much to all of us.”

—Soledad O’Brien, CNN anchor and special correspondent

“Touré is one of my favorite writers. I’ve watched him grow and mature into the thinking man's writer for the new era. Extremely observant on class and culture, this book is a must-have guide from one of the few remaining minds with the courage to tell the truth about America's beautiful stain.”

—Questlove, from the Roots