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How to Be Black (Enhanced Edition)

Baratunde Thurston

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.

Description

How To Be Black, the enhanced e-book edition, contains 14 author-conducted video interviews with individuals who exemplify "how to be black," an audio clip of the author delivering an essay to a live audience, links to a companion website with content created specifically for the enhanced e-book edition, and exclusive photos. Also, all instances of the color black have been rendered in an enhanced extra-black version just for this edition.

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."

Please note that due to the large file size of these special features this enhanced e-book may take longer to download then a standard e-book.

Publishers Weekly Review

Jan 23, 2012 – In this hilarious blend of razor-sharp satire and memoir, Onion editor and cofounder of the Jack & Jill Politics blog Thurston muses on how, generally, to be black in today’s ever-changing world. He’s quick to point out that his book is not a magic potion that will make readers instantly black (it is not How to Become a Black Person If You Are Not Already Black). Instructive chapters include “How to Be The Black Friend” and its corollaries, “How to Speak for All Black People” and “How to Be The Black Employee.” Thurston’s life was shaped by his mother, a force of nature who instilled in him a love of camping and bicycling, along with a fiercely radical spirit. As a teen, he participated in the Ankobia program in D.C. taught by Pan-African black American activists. This same woman also enrolled him in the prestigious Sidwell Friends school (home to Chelsea Clinton and President Obama’s daughters) and cheered at his Harvard graduation. In order to get a fuller picture of blackness in America today, Thurston assembles “The Black Panel,” consisting of artists and stand-up comedians who address race in their work. Questions he poses to panel include when the members first realized they were black (most were very young), if they ever wished not to black (very few did), and what they thought of the idea of “post-racial America.” Using his own story and humor, Thurston demonstrates that the best way to “be” anything is to simply be yourself.

Customer Reviews

Fantastic "How To" Book

I've always concerned myself with being aware of race. I was taught as a child that everyone is the same, but we really aren't. I'm 6'5" and it is very unlikely that more than 1% of you are even within an inch of that height. I'm rather pale, being of an Irish, German, Scottish and northern Italian heritage. That makes me different from other folks. Oh sure, we all are human and have a soul and what not, but we are different creatures from different places and different backgrounds.
Apparently some folks concern themselves with either the color of their skin or the behaviors they exhibit. Sometimes they are told they aren't acting according to a stereotype or opinion held by the observer. This causes a divide for some and a source of angst for others.

So, when Baratunde Thurston asks himself and his panel of Blackness Experts "How Black Are You?", it is a fascinating topic. What does being Black mean to the observer? Do you define "Black" as "Poor Black Child" (thank you Steve Martin)? How about "Militant Urban Activist"? Is your definition based on watching The Wire or The Cosby Show? Listening to Oprah talk or Ice-T? Chuck D or KRS-1?

Reading this book should give you an insight into a singular black experience - as atypical as any other. It should let you better understand that "being Black" isn't about being a thug. Or talking a certain way. It is about being You - just able to dance better than most of your friends.

Tell me - who is more "Black" - Will Smith or Eminem?

How to be Awesome!

Most of these reviews are horrible but this book is awesome. Baratunde is funny and insightful as usual. Buy this book!!!!

Black is still Black

I observe my classmates (white and black) and my conclusion is that blacks act way more tough then whites. Have you ever been white and been picked on by blacks or whites or have you been black and been picked on more blacks then whites. I know it gets confusing. But black people (esprecially the modern generation) are more fixed on being a thug then being a person. They grew up like that. Sad but true while whites (most) greew up better then blacks. Then the blacks get mad and jealous and try to make themsleves seem of more importance. Then the whites are different in a way. They are more nicers and dont feel the need to be so tough. They didnt grow up like that. I have experience both sides. The blacks say what are you white?? Then i dont see the insult in that besides the skin. Then i go what are you ghetto?? Then they reply as if i just said that you won the lottery. Blacks try to hard to be each other and follow role models like Nicki Minaji (no disrespect i love some of her songs). I just think that blacks should stop trying to be tough and that whites should learn how to be tough.

How to Be Black (Enhanced Edition)
View In iTunes
  • $10.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Humor
  • Published: Jan 31, 2012
  • Publisher: Harper
  • Seller: HarperCollins
  • Print Length: 272 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings

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