The Black Punk, the Black Geek, and Other Black People You Don't Meet on TV
Baratunde Thurston's How To Be Black is neither peevish gripe nor venomous attack. Like the best satire, it convinces with wit and compassion, and offers readers a vision of a better America that's entirely within reach.
In spite of the election of a black president in 2008, the representation of black people in American media remains pretty monolithic; we get (more or less) the Sports Star, The Musician, and the Criminal. And black women are almost completely invisible. There's the rare (and not very mainstream) exception – the Boondocks, for example – but for the most part what I'm saying is an uncomfortable yet undeniable truth.
Baratunde Thurston's How To Be Black is one response to this reality – an attempt to complicate the picture through satire. Thurston assembled for the book an "expert panel of black people," none of whom fits any discernable stereotype, and asked them questions about what it means to be black in "Post-racial" America. What emerges is a picture of smart young Americans trying to be their complicated selves – and succeeding brilliantly – amid unconscious pressure from friends, family, and strangers to conform to predetermined limitations on "blackness."
The book is neither peevish gripe nor venomous attack. Like the best satire, it convinces with wit and compassion, and offers readers a vision of a better America that's entirely within reach.
Baratunde Thurston on life in "Post-racial" America
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It's one of the most consistent patterns in the unviverse. What causes it?
- Spinning discs are everywhere – just look at our solar system, the rings of Saturn, and all the spiral galaxies in the universe.
- Spinning discs are the result of two things: The force of gravity and a phenomenon in physics called the conservation of angular momentum.
- Gravity brings matter together; the closer the matter gets, the more it accelerates – much like an ice skater who spins faster and faster the closer their arms get to their body. Then, this spinning cloud collapses due to up and down and diagonal collisions that cancel each other out until the only motion they have in common is the spin – and voila: A flat disc.
It's not just a case of "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger."
- A new study suggests children who endure trauma grow up to be adults with more empathy than others.
- The effect is not universal, however. Only one kind of empathy was greatly effected.
- The study may lead to further investigations into how people cope with trauma and lead to new ways to help victims bounce back.
Do you have a magnetic compass in your head?
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