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Writing from the perspective of a friend, Frederick Joseph offers candid reflections on his own experiences with racism and conversations with prominent artists and activists about theirs—creating an essential read for white people who are committed anti-racists and those newly come to the cause of racial justice.
“We don’t see color.” “I didn’t know Black people liked Star Wars!” “What hood are you from?” For Frederick Joseph, life as a transfer student in a largely white high school was full of wince-worthy moments that he often simply let go. As he grew older, however, he saw these as missed opportunities not only to stand up for himself, but to spread awareness to those white people who didn’t see the negative impact they were having.
Speaking directly to the reader, The Black Friend calls up race-related anecdotes from the author’s past, weaving in his thoughts on why they were hurtful and how he might handle things differently now. Each chapter features the voice of at least one artist or activist, including Angie Thomas, author of The Hate U Give;April Reign, creator of #OscarsSoWhite; Jemele Hill, sports journalist and podcast host; and eleven others. Touching on everything from cultural appropriation to power dynamics, “reverse racism” to white privilege, microaggressions to the tragic results of overt racism, this book serves as conversation starter, tool kit, and invaluable window into the life of a former “token Black kid” who now presents himself as the friend many readers need. Backmatter includes an encyclopedia of racism, providing details on relevant historical events, terminology, and more.
… (mere)
LynneQuan | 24 andre anmeldelser | Apr 21, 2024 |
Easy to read book by a Black man (and other contributors who are also Black or part of a different minority group) for white people with serious stories about racism told but told with injections of humor and pop culture.

Another tool to help us see systemic racism and to understand the lived experience of other people.

Also - is that cover amazing or what?
hmonkeyreads | 24 andre anmeldelser | Jan 25, 2024 |
Another excellent book by Frederick Joseph! The subject matters (racism and white supremacy in America, intersectionality, the harm the patriarchy perpetuates) are heavy, but Joseph handles them with honesty, humor, and warmth, while still conveying how seriously we all need to do our part in our daily lives to bring about change.

I do believe this book is geared towards teens/adults in their early 20s, but at 35, I didn't feel like the tone would be felt as condescending for younger readers, nor too juvenile for those of us who are older. Joseph has many little interjections throughout his book containing additional (and often funny) details about the story he's relaying, and suggested further research (a person or place to google, a musician to listen to, a movie to watch) and I think these make an already personal book, even more personal. The book is not all humor though - there are a lot of serious, heartbreaking, and anger-inducing stories here, that can't have been easy to open up about.

If you're past your teens, I highly suggest reading his other book, Patriarchy Blues, right before or after this. As in this book, Joseph opens up about so many of his own experiences that I think are incredibly beneficial to those who need help seeing and understanding the racism and microaggressions committed against people of color. I know it's Joseph's hope that readers will take in his experiences and learn and grow from what he's been gracious enough to share.

I'm really not doing his books justice - I think they're both very important and that as many people who can read them, should.
… (mere)
MillieHennessy | 24 andre anmeldelser | Oct 8, 2023 |
How do you review a book that is both meant to educate us on how white supremacy and the patriarchy can oppress and benefit people based on varying levels of privilege and tells of someone's personal experiences and hardships within these systems? I don't know! I'm sure I can't do it justice. It feels weird to even try to rate a book that's in part or whole a memoir. But Joseph writes about his life in a way that's powerful and beautiful and sad. He gives insight into the many ways people can be privileged in one way and oppressed in another. He even includes some poetry (at least, that's what it seemed like to me; I'll admit I don't read much). As I read, I highlighted so many strong, important passages. I appreciate the way Joseph lays out how he's been harmed and how he's benefitted, because I think it can be challenging for many of us to see that two things can be true. I'm rambling here and probably not adding any real value. But there's a lot of work to be done and I think this book could be a benefit in helping some people see what work needs doing and how it can be done. If you're interested in learning to unpack your privilege and help dismantle the systems of the patriarchy and white supremacy that harm us all (yes, even men) then definitely give this a read.… (mere)
MillieHennessy | 1 anden anmeldelse | Feb 16, 2023 |



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