What doesn't kill you makes you blacker a memoir in essays

by Young, Damon.

Format: OverDrive Read 2019.
  Adobe EPUB ebook
  Kindle Book
Availability: Unavailable 0 of 13 copies
89 people on waitlist
Unavailable from OverDrive (13)
Summary

From the cofounder of VerySmartBrothas.com, and one of the most read writers on race and culture at work today, a provocative and humorous memoir-in-essays that explores the ever-shifting definitions of what it means to be Black (and male) in America

For Damon Young, existing while Black is an extreme sport. The act of possessing black skin while searching for space to breathe in America is enough to induce a ceaseless state of angst where questions such as "How should I react here, as a professional black person?" and "Will this white person's potato salad kill me?" are forever relevant.

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker chronicles Young's efforts to survive while battling and making sense of the various neuroses his country has given him.

It's a condition that's sometimes stretched to absurd limits, provoking the angst that made him question if he was any good at the "being straight" thing, as if his sexual orientation was something he could practice and get better at, like a crossover dribble move or knitting; creating the farce where, as a teen, he wished for a white person to call him a racial slur just so he could fight him and have a great story about it; and generating the surreality of watching gentrification transform his Pittsburgh neighborhood from predominantly Black to "Portlandia . . . but with Pierogies."

And, at its most devastating, it provides him reason to believe that his mother would be alive today if she were white.

From one of our most respected cultural observers, What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker is a hilarious and honest debut that is both a celebration of the idiosyncrasies and distinctions of Blackness and a critique of white supremacy and how we define masculinity.

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Columnist, blogger, and editor-in-chief of VerySmartBrothas, Young delivers a passionate, wryly bittersweet tribute to Black life in majority-white Pittsburgh. Raised by devoted working-class parents who, despite education, talent, and hard work, endure chronic homelessness and ferocious joblessness occasionally interrupted by microbursts of underemployment, Young bounces between suburban and urban schools, constantly reassessing his self-worth and his Blackness. His barbed riffs on gentrification, Black barber shops ( one of the few places where Black men with papers and without college degrees could find honest employment ), basketball, appropriate use of the word nigga, and the obtuseness of white privilege are sharply observed. Young articulates the mingled bemusement, rage, and terror of living in a relatively safe and superficially Black space . . . enveloped by whiteness. On the political front, he writes, For the first 2 hours following the election of Barack Obama, I knew how it felt to be a white American . . . I was reminded of the danger of entertaining that delusion when my black-ass president appeared on the screen and the only thought I could muster was, Please don't let those motherfuckers kill him.' A must read.--Lesley Williams Copyright 2019 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "These darkly hilarious and forthcoming essays from Young, cofounder of social commentary blog Very Smart Brothas, center around the "perpetual surreality" of the African-American experience. For example, he writes with honesty and humor about his youthful worry that, if no white person called him the N word, his authenticity as a black man was in question. One of the funniest essays contains excerpts of his college-era poetry, often plagiarized from rap lyrics. In another, he recalls sneakily renting pornography as a teenager, feeling he was being watched by "my recently deceased aunt Toni, the first Aunt Viv from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Maya Angelou, and the ghost of that guy Morgan Freeman played in Glory." He critiques toxic masculinity and admits to a major error in judgment: writing a "triflin'-ass" piece dismissing a rape victim's critique of rape culture. He wants, he realized, not to be just a "decent" man, but a man "worthy" of friendship with the women in his life. Young uses pop culture references and personal stories to look at a life molded by structural racism, the joy of having a family that holds together in a crisis, and the thrill of succeeding against difficult odds. Young's charm and wit make these essays a pleasure to read; his candid approach makes them memorable. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Young, Damon.
Racism.
African American men.
Essays.
Electronic books.
Publisher [Place of publication not identified] :HarperCollins2019.
Contributors OverDrive, Inc.
Language English
System Details Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Format: Adobe EPUB eBook
Requires Adobe Digital Editions
Description 1 online resource
ISBN 9780062684332
9780062684332
Other Classic View