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Almost White: Forced Confessions of a Latino in Hollywood Paperback – September 16, 2013

4.9 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

     California-born Rick Najerais an award-winning actor, writer, director, and producer with credits in film, television, theater, and Broadway. He recently wrote, starred, and produced his second feature film, Taco Shop, and penned the holiday feature film, Nothing Like the Holidays, which won him a prestigious American Latino Media Arts (ALMA) Award. He has been nominated for two Writers Guild of America (WGA) Awards for his writing on MADtv, and honored twice by Hispanic Business Magazine as one of its “100 Most Influential Hispanics.”
     Najera is one of three Latinos in the history of Broadway to write and star in his own show. He made his debut in 2005 with his award-winning sketch comedy show, Latinologues, which triumphed on Broadway and continued with over 15 years of performances, touring the nation to sold-out houses and standing ovations. It is the longest-running and only showcase of its kind for Latinos in America.
     He is sometimes compared to Tyler Perry, and seen as a literary giant who captures the warmth, humor, pain, triumph, and humility of the Latino experience. Early in his artistic career, Najera was inspired and mentored by Oscar-winning actress Whoopi Goldberg, Keenen Ivory Wayans, and Latino legend Cheech Marin. Realizing there were few roles for him to play, he took matters into his own hands and started writing his way into Hollywood, and has been writing for this new America for over two decades now. He was “Latin” at a time when most Latinos passed as white, and he was “Latino” when the local political movement demanded he be “Chicano.” He wrote for the Latino community when the national climate demanded we focus on the “me,” and made us laugh at a time when immigration policies were at their darkest. He has mentored and directed more than 150 actors, and paved the way for many Latinos that followed in his footsteps into the maddening world of Hollywood. He is undeniably one of the most sought-after comedic talents in the industry with one of the most powerful voices in the Latino world today.
     Najera and his lovely wife are the proud parents of three beautiful children, whom they are currently raising in the heart of Los Angeles. His work is dedicated to his family and his community.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: SmileyBooks (September 16, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401943128
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401943127
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #926,504 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I want to personally thank Rick from the bottom of my heart for writing "Almost White". I just finished the book (I'm a slow reader) and I will never be able to put in words (albeit in a Amazon review) how much his story has affected me.

I LOVED how at every turn I was reminded of my roots and why I should keep a strong connection to my past. To never forget those who put in the work before me. At the same time, emphasizing the importance of family and the responsibility we have as Latinos to tell our truths.

The parallels in your history to my own are scary.

I also am "almost white" (Dominicans don't get any lighter than me - my last name is Blanco, c'mon) and that has given me a front row seat to the things that people say when they don't think any Latinos are around. Enlightening to say the least. But racism is just ignorance with an attitude and this book proves it on every page. People are afraid of what they don't know. This book is a proper step in the right direction.

I am so inspired by reading this book. The things I feel in my heart and know in my head about media , especially Spanish Language media, have never been so eloquently expressed as they are in "Almost White".

Rick has survived a lot and continues to fight because he knows this is it. No hay ma' na'. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Rick is the one eyed king in the land of the diversity blind. I hope he remains as compassionate and crazy about his family, his art, his history and the rest of the world. I love Rick and this book. And I say that truthfully not because I'm Latino but because I can read. Thank you for writing "Almost White", Rick. I'm recommending my close friends (and the not so close) to buy it but I'm saving this copy for my kids.

Pa' lante, loco.

Gio
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As an educator, I highly recommend that this book be in every classroom!

Najera's tale affirms every student's journey toward self-acceptance and self-discovery. It instills a sense of pride for being Latino, and it celebrates and embraces our diverse Latino backgrounds. It sends a positive message of hope to young people who may not believe "goods things" can happen to them. It encourages them to continue the cause for greater awareness and visibility in our media and our society. It challenges them to be proactive and to be “soldiers” in their own communities and campuses where equality and justice might need to be addressed.
In my daily work with today's youth, I've found they are in a constant search for answers. Najera asks the questions as well as providing the answers. He weaves an entertaining tale with thought-provoking commentary ripe for study in any classroom. Najera’s book is rich with historical, philosophical and social commentary that transcends the “almost white” population. All students in my classes stand to benefit from studying Najera’s work.
Whether on a high school or a college campus, I’m finding it rewarding to share this book with my students. I’ve started compiling a study guide to compliment this book, hopefully creating a curriculum worthy of being on any schools’ bookshelf. My prediction: Almost White will soon become required reading across campuses nationwide.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I expected Najera's "Almost White" to be a humorous memoir similar to those from Gaffigan, Nealon & others. It was definitely that. But it was much more than that. Najera weaves in history, philosophy, politics and religion to make the book far bigger than his own story. His story becomes the narrative through which he tells a much bigger story that affects all of us. While the book could have benefited from a little more focus, as the chapters sometimes read more like blog posts or articles than pieces of a cohesive whole, it is well worth your time and money.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was looking forward to reading Rick Najera's book and I was not disappointed. Rick tells the story of his rise from humble beginnings in San Diego to rubbing shoulders with Hollywood celebrities. But I love Rick's story because he doesn't forget where he comes from and Rick knows where Latinos are going to in our diverse vibrant country. His rise from the ICU to becoming an activist for promoting Latinos and all people of color in the entertainment industry is to be applauded and recognized for decades to come. Rick is correct in offering a solution that Latinos and other people of color should look to the Internet for opportunity not the traditional entertainment old boy network. Every college, university and high school should read this book for the insights on breaking into the entertainment industry.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Damn, someone bring me some funny!" what a great quote from a crazed producer of Rick's... I loved this book! I positive and honest look into the life of Rick. If you think you got it hard in life, try working in Hollywood...Ha! Funny and courageous story by Rick Najera...great read folks. I totally recommended this book even if you're not a Latino.
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Almost immediately after putting this on the shelf, a patron picked it up. What we had not expected was for them to start reading it out loud to her friend. After a few sentences, everyone in earshot was laughing and nodding in agreement. That patron checked the book out and quite a few put their names on the waiting list for the book. Needless to say, we are getting more copies!
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