Craft By Zen

Curation / Library / How To Be Black

book cover
book cover
Author: Baratunde Thurston
Affiliate Link
First Read:
A humorous and thought-provoking book exploring the complexities of black identity and offers insightful commentary on race and culture.

This week’s book: “How to be Black” by Baratunde Thurston. As an ethnic minority (i.e. not white in the US), there are a few things I could really relate with. The book is a great template for knowing what it means to be black, not how to become one. That isn’t possible if you’re not born into it. For me, I now understand how we aren’t actually in a “post-race” society because the US citizens elected a black president. Also, I understand the humor in how being black can be used to mess around with people. The biggest thing that the book has helped me with is to get a grip on identifying that I’m an ethnic minority (or if you’re black, identifying you’re black). I read the book during February, during Black History Month, so that’s probably a good time to read it. It doesn’t mean you absolutely have to (because now it’s March).

Lastly, since I come from an Asian background, there’s Asian school on Sundays to appreciate where we come from, how our culture ties into the US, and learn a foreign language. There isn’t this type of school for black people in the US, and the book calls for something like that. The book includes some stories from a panel of experts on blackness (the core of which is mixed races, but primarily black people). I glad I shouldn’t feel bad for saying the phrase “Black People.”

I thought this book was just going to be just humorous, but it’s actually about society and racism today in the US. And it’s interesting, not being either or on the white or black spectrum, to hear the opinions of how black people see black, or how they may not.

Original Post