Dad of Divas' Reviews: Book Review - The Black Friend: On Being a Better White Person

Saturday, December 17, 2022

Book Review - The Black Friend: On Being a Better White Person

The Black Friend: On Being a Better White Person

About the Book
In The Black Friend - The Black Friend: On Being a Better White Person, 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.

My Take on the Book
This was a great book that opened my eyes to the world around me. As a white male in the world I know that I can be unaware of the racism that people of African descent have to deal with racism. This book shares this clearly and really opened my eyes to the things that I have taken for granted in my own life. The author challenges every reader to step into a anti-racism role, speaking out and standing up for everyone. I know that for me, this book has pushed me to be more vocal as I know now what I did not before and I also know that staying silent only empowers those perpetuating racism. I highly recommend this book to all! 

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