How to Be Black

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Harper Collins, Jan 31, 2012 - Humor - 272 pages
21 Reviews

New York Times Bestseller

Baratunde Thurston’s comedic memoir chronicles his coming-of-blackness and offers practical advice on everything from “How to Be the Black Friend” to “How to Be the (Next) Black President”.

Have you ever been called “too black” or “not black enough”?

Have you ever befriended or worked with a black person?

Have you ever heard of black people?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, this book is for you. It is also for anyone who can read, possesses intelligence, loves to laugh, and has ever felt a distance between who they know themselves to be and what the world expects.

Raised by a pro-black, Pan-Afrikan single mother during the crack years of 1980s Washington, DC, and educated at Sidwell Friends School and Harvard University, Baratunde Thurston has more than over thirty years' experience being black. Now, through stories of his politically inspired Nigerian name, the heroics of his hippie mother, the murder of his drug-abusing father, and other revelatory black details, he shares with readers of all colors his wisdom and expertise in how to be black.

“As a black woman, this book helped me realize I’m actually a white man.”—Patton Oswalt



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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - AgneJakubauskaite - LibraryThing

WHAT IS IT ABOUT? “How to Be Black” by Baratunde Thurston is part memoir, part humorous social commentary on race and identity related issues in America. Despite being raised by a Pan-African single ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - rmagahiz - LibraryThing

This book is art how-to guide, part memoir, and part manifesto from a collective (menacing sounding!). It's not nearly as ranty as one might expect. I give it a touch over 3.5 stars for its ... Read full review


You Get That Name?
How Black Are You?
Why Are You Wearing That White Man Over Your Heart?
How to Be The Black Friend
How to Speak for All Black People
Have You Ever Wanted to Not Be Black?
Going Black to Africa
Dont Want to Kill People
How to Be The Black Employee
How to Be The Next Black President
Hows That PostRacial Thing Working Out for
Race Work and ArtThe Black Panel Speaks
Copyright About the Publisher

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About the author (2012)

Baratunde Thurston is the director of digital at The Onion, the cofounder of Jack & Jill Politics, a stand-up comedian, and a globe-trotting speaker. He was named one of the 100 most influential African-Americans of 2011 by The Root and one of the 100 most creative people in business by Fast Company magazine. Baratunde resides in Brooklyn and lives on Twitter (@baratunde).

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