Make It Extra Black: Baratunde's Guide to Race Relations

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Baratunde Thurston, comedian and former digital director at The Onion, has written the book How to Be Black. Photo by Matthew Wedgewood


Comedian Baratunde Thurston was raised by a black activist mother in the projects in Washington, D.C. He attended a largely white private high school, went on to earn a philosophy degree at Harvard and cofound a politics website before moving to the satirical news website, The Onion and most recently striking out to start his own entrepreneurial venture that uses humor to connect communities.

Most importantly, along the way Thurston accrued more than 32 years of experience of “being black.” These years of wisdom inspired him to write a book that’s both a childhood reminiscence and a tongue-in-cheek guidebook. How to Be Black tackles satirical conundrums, from what it means to be someone’s “black friend” and “how to be the next black president,” to the right way to celebrate Black History Month. Thurston mines his own history for a fresh take on identity, race, and politics.


Thurston delivers a keynote address at SXSW Interactive 2012.

When Callie spoke with Baratunde in February 2012, listeners had a lot to say. Here's some of their reactions



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