Half review, half perspective. In a world where people are divided between MSNBC, Fox News, and info wars, this book was a reminder that divisions are not that simple. Though I don’t know Baratunde Thurston, personally, I feel like I do - even before reading his best seller. Baratunde is an acclaimed speaker, the Director of Digital for The Onion, and the founder of Jack & Jill politics. Our mutual friends speak so highly of his intellect and business savvy that I feel guilty for not knowing him. In How To Be Black, he says what many want to say. It’s led me to more public “hmmmmm’s” or episodes of “haaaaaaaa!” than I’ve ever had reading a book.
The first half of How To Be Black was read on a plane from California to Ohio. I was wearing boat shoes and a J. Crew shirt, I was sitting between two 50+ year old blonde women who were reading along on my iPad, laughing along at my arduous laughter. I also had Dre Beats on. I was listening to Drake. If the scene was a Warhol painting, it would simply be called “diversity”.
The second half of How to Be Black was listened to on audio book in a Camry on the way through West Virginia to a lake house in North Carolina. I was with my wife and my young daughter, a.k.a half & half. Lindsey was laughing just as hysterically as I was - as if to say, “I understand now.” This scene would warrant another Warhol painting, it would also be called “diversity”.