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Showing 1-10 of 214 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 287 reviews
on February 28, 2017
Loved this book.

It is funny, smart, and leads the reader through a thoughtful social commentary, using humor and details from the author's life throughout. Starting out, it is laugh out loud funny, becoming more serious as the novel progresses.

Race is not a comfortable topic for most Americans. The recent election exposed a dark, ugly side of America that I didn't know existed (in such great number). Thought provoking with a healthy dose of satire, I highly recommend this book to others.
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on January 20, 2017
This was a very funny book, for any and all races. He describes being black in different circumstances, and postulates different responses from those involved. There were many, many moments I recognized from life (as a white person, myself) interacting with each other. As well as these "oh,yeah" moments, there were quite a few "really? is that how it feels?' moments. He doesn't pretend to be a voice for all black people, but finds situations that we can relate to.
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on November 29, 2015
This book artfully provides a humorous, yet factual, comprehensive account of the the experience that black Americans go through today surrounding race and identity. As a black/ mixed race young woman who attended primarily white schools growing up, it was so refreshing to read Baratunde's insightful and hilarious articulations about what it's really like in our world today to be black, and to feel pressures to constantly represent your entire race as a minority.

I love the chapter looking into the future of blackness. Also, The emphasis that Black history IS AMERICAN HISTORY is SO IMPORTANT!!! It's essential to the progression of race relations that we are all on the same page of the actual FACTS of the history of our nation.

Highly recommended!
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on February 21, 2017
Racial humor can be exploitative but the reviews on this book looked positive so I took the plunge. It is literally a book on how to be Black, but in addressing the subject it proves how absurd that idea is. It gives insight on the extra stresses a person of color has to go through just to live day to day in white culture in America. In the end it shows that Blackness is defined by Black people and that stereotypes are absurd. People define culture, culture shouldn't define people, no matter who you are.
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on March 16, 2014
All of his illustrated life stories mentioned in his text are all experiences I have gone through and I am only 23 years old.

He comes from a neutral perspective to give an insight on how black people are portrayed by Whites as well as other Blacks. This entire book pays tribute to Blacks who might be in the "middle of the pack," or in other words "educated negro."

I am paraphrasing a bit, but the one excerpt that stood out to me the most was his feelings of not "being black enough" or being "too white" are simply the struggles that come along with having a bright education and future.

I am not here to write a long extended review but to simply tell you if you feel like you are irrationally treated by both groups, this book can simply give you a second chance. Baratunde goes into a unspoken dynamic of social issues that are unheard of and at the same time gives a good laugh here and there. BUY THIS BOOK AND SUPPORT THIS AUTHOR, DONE!
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on March 5, 2013
Part autobiography, part irony rolled up into a whole lot of very wise social commentary. Thurston makes some very insightful observations about the way that people exist and thrive in multiple worlds. I suspect that this book holds a lot that is familiar to anyone who is a member of a minority group. That group need not be ethnic or racial in nature. There are in effect, a minimum of two worlds in every interaction between different people. There is the other person's perception of your world and there is your own perception of your world. In this particular book there is an example of how being black is perceived to be by non-blacks, contrasted by how being black is to Thurston. The thoughts, feelings and emotions about what it is to be black to Thurston, are shared by many of us who are black (hence the success of the book). The caveat is that Thurston is describing the experience of what it is like to be black in a white, middle-class, American environment. Underlying this is a theme about how those of us who are "different" are actually ambassadors for those differences; helping to shape, sharpen and maybe even change the perceptions of others. I think the real brilliance of this book is the acknowledgement that these differences in perceptions exist at all. This book was thoughtful and refreshing, humorous and good natured. Highly recommended.
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on May 18, 2017
Very well-written! He knows how to fuse humor into a subject matter that is riddled with denial, ambivalence and historical atrocities.
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on October 6, 2015
I would recommend this book to any and everyone. It’s insightful, and causes you to be just a bit more introspective in how you view people. It made me really think about how I percieve my own blackness, as well as how the black community interacts with itself in comparison to other minority communities. These are conversations that I think need to be had, even if I don’t have the words to start them myself. It is especially important in the current cultural and political landscape of the United States.

For the full review, please go here: http://eurydicehowell.com/2015/09/16/baratunde-thurstons-how-to-be-black/
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on June 28, 2013
I got this book after seeing Baratunde on the Melissa Harris Perry show on a freaking early California morning. Recent conversations with my apartment community lead me to believe that, not only did I not understand black people but, I never would. Being the single white mother to biracial kids, this idea scared the scrap out of me...I know I can't teach them to be black, so what can I do? This book has helped me to understand that the best thing for me to do is raise them to be themselves with the confidence to define for themselves what it means to be black. The book was uncomfortable to read in places and thought provoking,with no pretense of having all the answers....definitely a must read for all and sundry who want to add to their human experience of growth through knowledge. After all...isn't that really why we are here?
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on April 5, 2012
I first heard the author, Baratunde Thurston, discuss his new book on NPR to kick off Black History Month. I was so impressed by his humor and wit that I wanted to support him by buying his book. It did not disappoint. It was filled with such insights into the black-American experience, and how as a child being raised by a single Afro-centric mother in Washington, D.C., he learned to straddle two worlds. During the week he attended predominantly white Sidwell Friends Academy (a few years behind Chelsea Clinton), and on the weekends he attended a program where he was immersed in the culture and history of black people.

Some of his passages will have you holding your sides, as will his chapter headings like How to Speak for All Blacks. I have since bought this book for a few people, both black and white. As a white woman who lives in a white bread community in Connecticut, my cool factor has been raised immeasurably by reading this book. Thanks, Baratunde!
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