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Becoming Black: Personal Ramblings on Racial Identification, Racism, and Popular Culture Paperback – November 5, 2013
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What does "The Wizard of Oz" or "Star Wars" or "The Lord of the Rings Trilogy" have to do with helping to continue to solidify the foundation of racism that America was built on? At the same time, what do Kung Fu movies of the early seventies have to do with uplifting black people in America? And "Why does the brotha always got to die?" These are questions that may seem outrageous or ridiculous to many, but Walker breaks it all down clearly, layer by layer, brick by brick, with both text book savvy and sharp humor, examining the history of black people in America beginning with his own family origins up through the presidency of Barack Obama.
For those of us who share a similar background with the author, the stories he tells and observations he makes will bring back memories that have laid dormant for years (like the time my sophomore U.S. history teacher insisted the Civil War was fought to "preserve the Union" not "end slavery" and that any other answer given about the cause of the Civil War when tested would be incorrect. Or the time a kid in sixth grade wanted to make a "black joke" because he didn't think any black people were around. I had to correct him. Although I'm very light skinned, my father is black.) For those who don't share a similar background as the author, the experience reading the book should be even more profound, because the overall point of the book is that America's slave history is still splitting our identities today, both black and white people, and it will continue to split all of us if we do not first admit there actually is an American cancer called racism and second begin to treat this cancer properly.