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Negropedia: The Assimilated Negro's Crash…

Negropedia: The Assimilated Negro's Crash Course on the Modern Black…

by Patrice Evans

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Suitable for all melanin levels. Teeheehee. I wish the book as a whole was as enjoyable to read as the title. Instead it ended up being a big ole disappointment. The good news is I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads. Sure, there were giggles in the beginning and a chuckle or two at the end. It's the lackluster middle (pretty much the majority of the book) that brought it down. Negropedia is broken up into nine main sections. Here's what this "Swirl" (i.e. too mixed for the world to understand, p.67) thought of them...

Black Is the New Black...A Primer to Blackness for All and for None
Off to a great start. I thought the pitch for the Nine-Step Nouveau Negro Assimilation Program (aka NoNap) was funny and a great way to set the tone for the book. It also introduced the first few "Ghetto Pass" segments. You know, in case you need to brush up on some ghetto institutions but don't actually want to venture too far out of your comfort zone. Curious about Gypsy cabs? Patrice Evans has got you covered. BTW, in Pittsburgh an unlicensed taxi is called a jitney.

The Little Black Book...Dating on the Color Line
Hit and miss. The letters from "A Black Guy" and "A Black Woman" were pretty tired. The call for a mediocre black chick appreciation program was cringe-worthy. Mostly because I know there are still quite a few people who think dark = mediocre. This section also touches on the topic of interracial dating and offers an answer to the niggling question "Can I have sex with a Racist?" (Yes!)

The Black List...The Hall of Hallowed Negroes
A lot of filler. Quick! Think of a famous black person of any ilk. Yeah, they are probably mentioned here somewhere. There are some bright spots, like an essay on "keeping it real" and a general introduction to Five Percenters.

The Hip-Hop Genome Project...Black Is Something You Do, Hip-Hop Is Something You Live
Pretty straight forward stuff. Lots O' Lists. Which rapper should you be? Cipher demographics. The seven emcees you meet in hip hop. Yada yada yada.

Fade to Black...Welcome to Blollywood
This section opens with a Ghetto Pass on "black movie theaters" and I LOLed. Magic Johnson Theater, anyone? Also, the author reeeeeally doesn't like the movie Crash.

Ballers...Don't Hate the Player
Some more yawn-worthy anecdotes, but this time on black people in sports.

Ballin'...Change the Uniform
Baggy jeans. Black people fashion brands. Blipsters. I was a bit confused when reading "Blipsters hate hip-hop unless they are spoofing it..." and then seeing Evans turn right around by listing Andre 3000 and Kanye West as blipster role models. Wait, what??

In the Black...Color-Blind Capitalism
Happy to see Evans mentioned McDonald's hilarious attempts to appeal to the black consumer by way of the R&B and hip-hop jingles in their advertisements. Nearly impossible to watch or hear them without rolling my eyes.

Toward a Postracial Apocalypse
Loved "The Nine Stages of Gentrifranchise Hell." It's currently happening to a neighborhood in Pittsburgh called East Liberty....or should I say Eastside. Ugh!! I'll spare you the rant. A multiplex is already in the works. This will include a movie theater and a modern (read: high-end) barbecue restaurant called Union Pig and Chicken (sigh).

Ultimately, I say give this a pass and watch The Boondocks instead for a funny, yet thought-provoking take on the modern black experience. ( )
  diovival | Oct 14, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 030746380X, Paperback)

Patrice Evans is The Assimilated Negro, a hyperobservant, savagely pop-savvy instigator bent on pranking the crap out of our modern racial discourse. Since the debut of his popular “Ghetto Pass” column for Gawker.com, Evans has been the rare voice capable of speaking to junkies for both White Castle and Colson Whitehead with equal insight and aplomb. His first book, Negropedia, is a wide-ranging, deeply idiosyncratic tour through the tricky racial landscape of the Obama era, aimed at pop-culture consumers at the intersecting fan bases of South Park and Chappelle’s Show, Scott Pilgrim and The Boondocks.
            Whether deconstructing Lil Wayne’s “no homo hypocrisy,” outlining the all-important Clair Huxtable code for finding a mate, or assessing Susan Sontag’s street cred, Evans provides a stream of daring outsider anthropology.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:16 -0400)

A blogger and critic uses satire, social commentary and dark humor to answer what he sees as the most burning questions surrounding race relations.

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