Black magic : what Black leaders learned from trauma and triumph

by Sanders, Chad,

Format: Print Book 2021
Availability: Available at 9 Libraries 9 of 11 copies
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CLP - Brookline New Books E185.615.S2523 2021x
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Northland Public Library New Books 305.896 SA5
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Summary
A "daring, urgent, and transformative" (Brené Brown, New York Times bestselling author of Dare to Lead ) exploration of Black achievement in a white world based on honest, provocative, and moving interviews with Black leaders, scientists, artists, activists, and champions.

"I remember the day I realized I couldn't play a white guy as well as a white guy. It felt like a death sentence for my career."

When Chad Sanders landed his first job in lily-white Silicon Valley, he quickly concluded that to be successful at work meant playing a certain social game. Each meeting was drenched in white slang and the privileged talk of international travel or folk concerts in San Francisco, which led Chad to believe he needed to emulate whiteness to be successful. So Chad changed. He changed his wardrobe, his behavior, his speech--everything that connected him with his Black identity.

And while he finally felt included, he felt awful. So he decided to give up the charade. He reverted to the methods he learned at the dinner table, or at the Black Baptist church where he'd been raised, or at the concrete basketball courts, barbershops, and summertime cookouts. And it paid off. Chad began to land more exciting projects. He earned the respect of his colleagues. Accounting for this turnaround, Chad believes, was something he calls Black Magic, namely resilience, creativity, and confidence forged in his experience navigating America as a Black man. Black Magic has emboldened his every step since, leading him to wonder: Was he alone in this discovery? Were there others who felt the same?

In "pulverizing, educational, and inspirational" (Shea Serrano, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Basketball (And Other Things) ) essays, Chad dives into his formative experiences to see if they might offer the possibility of discovering or honing this skill. He tests his theory by interviewing Black leaders across industries to get their take on Black Magic. The result is a revelatory and essential book. Black Magic explores Black experiences in predominantly white environments and demonstrates the risks of self-betrayal and the value of being yourself.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Once Sanders stopped downplaying his true self and his Blackness, and started embracing the skills he'd learned navigating the U.S. as a Black man, his tech career in Silicon Valley grew wings. Drawing on his own experiences at Google and those of the Black leaders, scientists, artists, business people, parents, innovators, and champions he interviewed, he investigates how being a Black person in predominantly white spaces creates what he calls Black Magic: resilience, creativity, and perseverance. This mix of memoir, interviews, and motivation is for readers who have faced trauma and kept going and for individuals who have been underestimated because of their race, family, socioeconomic status, gender, sexuality, or any other target for mindless prejudice. Sanders argues that facing adversity can generate a type of magic that has the power to lift those who have been cast low to the highest of positions. Readers will be moved most by how Sanders and his interviewees don't shy away from the pain of the discrimination they've endured, instead transforming suffering into a source of assurance and hope. The overarching vision here is one of making room for Blackness in every sphere and ensuring that being Black is not a detraction but rather a strength."
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Screenwriter Sanders debuts with a series of candid and informative interviews with Black professionals, exploring how they achieved success. A former Google employee, Sanders recalls trying to "emulate whiteness," before discovering that his job performance improved when he stopped pretending to be someone else. He posits that the "Black experience... provides a set of skills and tactics that can lead to victories in business, art, and science," a theory borne out in these conversations. Ed Bailey, a sports agent and Silicon Valley executive coach, speaks to the importance of stepping out of one's comfort zone when it comes to working in unfamiliar environments. Dr. Lynn McKinley-Grant, a Harvard-educated dermatologist, provides insight on maintaining confidence in the face of white privilege, while Jewel Burks Solomon recalls being told she needed a "non-Black person" to join her start-up company before venture capitalists would invest in it. Teacher and civil rights activist DeRay Mckesson explains how educators can make course material more relevant for nonwhite students. Though the tech industry is more heavily represented than other fields, Sanders explores a broad range of issues related to the Black experience. This inspirational account offers useful lessons on how "power can be derived from trauma and suffering." (Feb.)"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects African Americans -- Interviews.
African American leadership.
United States -- Race relations -- History -- 21st century.
Autobiographies.
Biographies.
Interviews.
Essays.
Publisher New York, NY :2021
Edition First Simon & Schuster hardcover edition.
Language English
Description xxiii, 262 pages ; 22 cm
ISBN 9781982104221
1982104228
Other Classic View