- Paperback: 250 pages
- Publisher: MacAdam/Cage; First Trade Paper Edition edition (March 1, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1596923113
- ISBN-13: 978-1596923119
- Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.5 x 0.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,309,700 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Not a Genuine Black Man: My Life as an Outsider Paperback – March 1, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
BTW, I thought the discussion questions for readers at the back of the tome were totally lame. For you book group leaders, dump those questions and focus on the rich and genuine (ha) anecdotes in the book - there are plenty of topics and ideas in the book that are far more interesting than the pathetic bologna in that appendix! :-)
Copeland addresses the gorilla in the room that people from the inner city either try to pretend isn't there, or jeer at. The gorilla is this: is it okay to be successful if you are a young black man? If you get A's, have you betrayed your race? Are you guilty of failing to keep it real?
I am not black, but am a member of a tri-racial family, and the only white person in my house. I've watched this dilemma play out. How does a brilliant black man go to college, and keep his friends from the streets? Or does he? Hanging out with an all-white crowd is out of the question, and so the alternatives bear a lot of examination. And I know that especially with a black president in office, a lot of young men of color are dealing with some confusing ideas.
If you watch BET, you may get the impression that being black and successful is great, if you do it in a way that goes completely around all things considered respectable or even legal by mainstream (and mostly white) society. Copeland deals with these stereotypic messages, and he does it skillfully.
I won't spoil the ending by telling you what Copeland decides qualifies a person as a "genuine black man", but he is really sage about it. And why not? Having survived and seen so much, he should certainly know.
This is a brilliant book, and an intense one. The last time so much humor and rage occupied the same place was when Lenny Bruce was alive, and that's been a minute or two.
Do yourself a favor. Regardless of your color, age, or gender, read this book...because we all occupy the same planet.
The author is humble without coming off as a martyr. He is funny without making light of the serious issues he brings to the table. I highly recommend this book to anyone who seeks to understand a new perspective, or anyone who simply enjoys a good read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I grew up in SL, arrived there in 1973. Being white, I fortunately did not have to go through the experiences that Brian did, and I hope to Hell after reading his book that I did... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Stephen C. Dowd
Essential reading for understanding race relations. The online classroom support is great. It needs to be mentioned on the site that the book is written at a 7th grade reading... Read morePublished on September 8, 2012 by Brett A. Brown
This book should be required reading for students in higher education. Brian does a wonderful job relating his experiences (and making the best of) growing up in a difficult and... Read morePublished on November 12, 2009 by David M.
Brian Copeland tells his story of growing up black, in an all white neighborhood, with humor and ease, but with a truth that brought tears to my eyes. A must read!Published on February 22, 2009 by Wendy W. Dewell