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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”—now available in a limited Olive Edition.
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
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).
“Part autobiography, part stand-up routine, part contemporary political analysis, and astute all over.... Reading this book made me both laugh and weep with poignant recognition.... A hysterical, irreverent exploration of one of America’s most painful and enduring issues.” — Melissa Harris-Perry
“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.” — Publishers Weekly
“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.” — Fast Company
"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." — The Root
“A hilarious look at the complexities of contemporary racial politics and personal identity.” — Booklist
“One of the smartest and funniest books I’ve ever read.” — Christian Lander (via Twitter)