The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell

The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell

Tales of A 6' 4", African American, Heterosexual, Cisgender, Left-leaning, Asthmatic, Black and Proud Blerd, Mama's Boy, Dad, and Stand-up Comedian

Book - 2017
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You may know W. Kamau Bell from his new, Emmy-nominated hit show on CNN, United Shades of America . Or maybe you've read about him in the New York Times , which called him "the most promising new talent in political comedy in many years." Or maybe from The New Yorker , fawning over his brand of humor writing: "Bell's gimmick is intersectional progressivism: he treats racial, gay, and women's issues as inseparable."

After all this love and praise, it's time for the next step: a book. The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell is a humorous, well-informed take on the world today, tackling a wide range of issues, such as race relations; fatherhood; the state of law enforcement today; comedians and superheroes; right-wing politics; left-wing politics; failure; his interracial marriage; white men; his up-bringing by very strong-willed, race-conscious, yet ideologically opposite parents; his early days struggling to find his comedic voice, then his later days struggling to find his comedic voice; why he never seemed to fit in with the Black comedy scene . . . or the white comedy scene; how he was a Black nerd way before that became a thing; how it took his wife and an East Bay lesbian to teach him that racism and sexism often walk hand in hand; and much, much more.
Publisher: New York : Dutton, 2017.
ISBN: 9781101985878
Branch Call Number: 792.76028092 Bell
Characteristics: viii, 340 pages ; 24 cm


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Cynthia_N Sep 09, 2017

Hilarious! I found myself mentioning this book to most of my friends that I ran into as I was reading it! Bell presents his beliefs in a very passionate but not overbearing manner. I learned quite a bit and laughed quite a bit while reading. Highly recommended!

Jun 02, 2017

"Every few years, angry white men rebrand themselves as a way to disguise their racism. It my lifetime they have been called the alt-right, the Tea Party, the ‘silent majority.” And when they can’t come up with a new name to change to, they usually just go ‘Aww, screw it ! let’s just call ourselves the Ku Klux Klan again!’”
W. Kamau Bell is best-know for his acclaimed, but short-lived show "Totally Biased" and his current CNN show "United Shades of America." He's both a comedian and a social critic, and while I think he's funny, I think he's more influential as the latter and this book is definitely its best when he's dealing with issues of race. Like many comedians' books, it's a loosely connected string of anecdotes and autobiography. It's a breezy read, but a little unfocused. The strongest chapters are the more serious ones, like the show he did with members of the KKK and the one about a racial incident at a Berkeley cafe. I'd also recommend Phoebe Robinson's collection of essays, "You Can't Touch My Hair."

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