The Resource What doesn't kill you makes you blacker : a memoir in essays, Damon Young

What doesn't kill you makes you blacker : a memoir in essays, Damon Young

Label
What doesn't kill you makes you blacker : a memoir in essays
Title
What doesn't kill you makes you blacker
Title remainder
a memoir in essays
Statement of responsibility
Damon Young
Title variation
  • What does not kill you makes you blacker
  • Memoir in essays
Title variation remainder
a memoir in essays
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
From the cofounder of VerySmartBrothas.com, and one of the most read writers on race and culture at work today, a provocative and humorous memoir-in-essays that explores the ever-shifting definitions of what it means to be Black (and male) in America. For Damon Young, existing while Black is an extreme sport. The act of possessing black skin while searching for space to breathe in America is enough to induce a ceaseless state of angst where questions such as How should I react here, as a professional black person? and Will this white person's potato salad kill me? are forever relevant. What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker chronicles Young' efforts to survive while battling and making sense of the various neuroses his country has given him. It's a condition that's sometimes stretched to absurd limits, provoking the angst that made him question if he was any good at the being straight thing, as if his sexual orientation was something he could practice and get better at, like a crossover dribble move or knitting; creating the farce where, as a teen, he wished for a white person to call him a racial slur just so he could fight him and have a great story about it; and generating the surreality of watching gentrification transform his Pittsburgh neighborhood from predominantly Black to Portlandia . . . but with Pierogies. And, at its most devastating, it provides him reason to believe that his mother would be alive today if she were white. From one of our most respected cultural observers, What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker is a hilarious and honest debut that is both a celebration of the idiosyncrasies and distinctions of Blackness and a critique of white supremacy and how we define masculinity
Storyline
Tone
Writing style
Review
  • /* Starred Review */ These darkly hilarious and forthcoming essays from Young, cofounder of social commentary blog Very Smart Brothas, center around the “perpetual surreality” of the African-American experience. For example, he writes with honesty and humor about his youthful worry that, if no white person called him the N word, his authenticity as a black man was in question. One of the funniest essays contains excerpts of his college-era poetry, often plagiarized from rap lyrics. In another, he recalls sneakily renting pornography as a teenager, feeling he was being watched by “my recently deceased aunt Toni, the first Aunt Viv from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Maya Angelou, and the ghost of that guy Morgan Freeman played in Glory.” He critiques toxic masculinity and admits to a major error in judgment: writing a 
			“triflin’-ass” piece dismissing a rape victim’s critique of rape culture. He wants, he realized, not to be just a “decent” man, but a man “worthy” of friendship with the women in his life. Young uses pop culture references and personal stories to look at a life molded by structural racism, the joy of having a family that holds together in a crisis, and the thrill of succeeding against difficult odds. Young’s charm and wit make these essays a pleasure to read; his candid approach makes them memorable. (Mar.)
			 --Staff (Reviewed 01/21/2019) (Publishers Weekly, vol 266, issue 3, p)
  • A key cultural critic and cofounder of VerySmartBrothas.com, Young here examines the stress of being American while black—the ceaseless anxiety, the desire as a teenager for a white person to toss him a racial slur so that he could fight back, the question, "How should I react here, as a professional black person?" Then there was his pondering whether he could ever be good at the "being straight" thing. Acid-etched insight; with an impressive 200,000-copy first printing. --Barbara Hoffert (Reviewed 10/01/2018) (Library Journal, vol 143, issue 16, p42)
  • The co-founder and editor-in-chief of VerySmartBrothas documents the evolution of a city, a family, and a man using language that runs the gamut from irreverent to uproarious. The author, who is also a columnist for GQ, provides an inward-looking examination of the foibles, desires, and fears of a black man attempting to make his way in the world, the questions he asks along the way, and the destructive forces (sometimes controllable, sometimes not) that threaten to break him. This cultural landscape is steeped in the legacy of America's domestic immigrants who carved paths out of the South and into the steel and mining towns of Pennsylvania. Young's aspirational personal story parallels the trajectories of other descendants of the Great Migration. By sharing snapshots of his growth from adolescence into adulthood, he offers a glimpse into the crucible that shaped his personality and his politics, both of which came to define the aesthetic of VerySmartBrothas. But where VSB is rooted in the transactional here and now, the author's memoir explores the template upon which white supremacy is based and the recurring themes of oppression that permeate every aspect of black life in America. That Young does this vis-à-vis the tragicomedy of his own experiences makes each vignette that much more poignant. Everyone in America has some level of adjacency to the N-word: how it's used, how it's received, and the context in which the usage is deemed acceptable (or not). In addition to mining that explosive aspect of the cultural landscape, Young also looks at the extreme lengths to which men will go in search of love; how to know when to talk and when it's time to listen; and the fear of failing ones' family and how that sometimes manifests poorly in black men as opposed to more successful strategies employed by their partners. Health disparities, gentrification, and low expectations operating as a de facto form of violence on the bodies and minds of black people are among the author's many prescient themes. Young sharply conveys important truths with powerful effect. (Kirkus Reviews, May 15, 2019)
Biography type
autobiography
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10760069
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Young, Damon
Dewey number
920
Index
no index present
LC call number
CT
Literary form
non fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Young, Damon
  • African American men
  • African American journalists
Target audience
adult
http://bibfra.me/vocab/lite/titleRemainder
a memoir in essays
Label
What doesn't kill you makes you blacker : a memoir in essays, Damon Young
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
Introduction: Living while black is an extreme sport -- Nigger fight story -- Street cred -- Bomb-ass poetry -- Your turn -- No homo -- Driver's ed -- Three niggas -- Obama bomaye -- Broke -- How to make the internet hate you in 15 simple steps -- Banging over bacon -- Yolo -- Living while black killed my mom -- East liberty kutz -- Thursday-night hoops -- Zoe
Dimensions
24 cm
Edition
First Edition.
Extent
307 pages
Isbn
9780062684318
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Label
What doesn't kill you makes you blacker : a memoir in essays, Damon Young
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
Introduction: Living while black is an extreme sport -- Nigger fight story -- Street cred -- Bomb-ass poetry -- Your turn -- No homo -- Driver's ed -- Three niggas -- Obama bomaye -- Broke -- How to make the internet hate you in 15 simple steps -- Banging over bacon -- Yolo -- Living while black killed my mom -- East liberty kutz -- Thursday-night hoops -- Zoe
Dimensions
24 cm
Edition
First Edition.
Extent
307 pages
Isbn
9780062684318
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n

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