21 November 2016
You Can't Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain by Phoebe Robinson
A hilarious and affecting essay collection about race, gender, and pop culture from celebrated stand-up comedian and WNYC podcaster Phoebe Robinson.
Phoebe Robinson is a stand-up comic, which means that, often, her everyday experiences become points of comedic fodder. And as a black woman in America, she maintains, sometimes you need to have a sense of humor to deal with the absurdity you are handed on the daily. Robinson has experienced her fair share over the years: she's been unceremoniously relegated to the role of "the black friend," as if she is somehow the authority on all things racial; she's been questioned about her love of U2 and Billy Joel ("isn t that . . . white people music?"); she's been called "uppity" for having an opinion in the workplace; she's been followed around stores by security guards; and yes, people do ask her whether they can touch her hair all. the. time. Now, she's ready to take these topics to the page and she s going to make you laugh as she s doing it.
Using her trademark wit alongside pop-culture references galore, Robinson explores everything from why Lisa Bonet is "Queen. Bae. Jesus," to breaking down the terrible nature of casting calls, to giving her less-than-traditional advice to the future female president, and demanding that the NFL clean up its act, all told in the same conversational voice that launched her podcast, "2 Dope Queens," to the top spot on iTunes. As personal as it is political, "You Can't Touch My Hair" examines our cultural climate and skewers our biases with humor and heart, announcing Robinson as a writer on the rise."
You Can't Touch My Hair is a laugh-out-loud book of essays about race and culture from the wonderfully funny Phoebe Robinson (of 2 Dope Queens and Sooo Many White Guys and other comedy/stand-up places). The opening chapters about hair are a draw, but the chapter "Uppity", about the stereotype of the Angry Black Woman, is worth the purchase of the book for those 20-ish pages alone. And then she ends with an excellent series of letters for her little niece, Olivia (we benefit from those letters, too).
Dear FTC: I purchased my copy of this book at Book Riot Live.