- My Account
- Hours | Contact | Directions
- Bookstore Programs
- The Bookstore Story
- What to Read Next...
- Signed Books
- Author Notes
You are here
How to Be Black (Hardcover)
Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
If You Don't Buy This Book, You're a Racist.
Have you ever been called "too black" or "not black enough"?
Have you ever befriended or worked with a black person?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, this book is for you.
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 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.
Beyond memoir, this guidebook offers practical advice on everything from "How to Be The Black Friend" to "How to Be The (Next) Black President" to "How to Celebrate Black History Month."
To provide additional perspective, Baratunde assembled an award-winning Black Panel--three black women, three black men, and one white man (Christian Lander of Stuff White People Like)--and asked them such revealing questions as:
"When Did You First Realize You Were Black?"
"How Black Are You?"
"Can You Swim?"
The result is a humorous, intelligent, and audacious guide that challenges and satirizes the so-called experts, purists, and racists who purport to speak for all black people. With honest storytelling and biting wit, Baratunde plots a path not just to blackness, but one open to anyone interested in simply "how to be.
About the Author
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).
“A hilarious blend of razor-sharp satire and memoir...Using his own story and humor, Thurston demonstrates that the best way to ‘be’ anything is to simply be yourself.”
“Terrific...How to Be Black is an assault on nostalgia--a satirical, biographic attack on the idea that ‘blackness’ or any label should be derived from historical description.”
“A hilarious look at the complexities of contemporary racial politics and personal identity.”
Struggling to figure out how to be black in the 21st century? Baratunde Thurston has the perfect guide for you...Fans of Stuff White People Like, This Week in Blackness and other blogs that take satirical shots at racial stereotypes are sure to love How to Be Black.
“One of the smartest and funniest books I’ve ever read.”
-Christian Lander (via Twitter)