Wednesday, 12 July 2017

You Can't Touch My Hair by Phoebe Robinson

You Can't Touch My Hair:
And Other Things I Still Have to Explain
by Phoebe Robinson

Summary: 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.
I've recently discovered that I'm scared of flying. I wasn't always afraid of flying, but I haven't been on a plane since I was in my early teens and somewhere between then and now, I seem to have developed a fear of it. What has that got to do with this book? Well... This book was the only thing that kept me calm and pleasantly distracted while being stuck thousands of feet off the ground in a big metal tube. I tried others, but this was the only one that worked.

Basically, I loved the book...partly because of my gratitude for it keeping panic at bay for a few hours, but mostly just because it was excellent.

I listened to it on audiobook and the narration was great. I'll admit, I wasn't a fan of Phoebe Robinson before starting this book (because I didn't really know much about her, wasn't familiar with her work, etc.) but I definitely was by the end of the book.

She manages to perfectly juggle the balance between humour and seriousness and she opened my eyes to a lot of issues I was ignorant to either because I'm white (or in some cases, because I'm not American) and I haven't had the same life experiences as women of colour have.

The tl;dr version: Both Phoebe Robinson and her book are fantastic and I really recommend checking it out, especially the audiobook version because her narration just brought it to the next level. It's funny and honest and important. I'd rate it 5 stars out of 5.


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