From the perspective of the friend everyone should have, Frederick Joseph offers an essential read for white people who want to be better about race—and people of color who long to see their experiences validated.
Speaking directly to the reader, The Black Friend calls up race-related anecdotes from the author’s past, weaving in his thoughts on why they were hurtful and how he might handle things differently now. Each chapter includes the voice of at least one artist or activist, including Tarell Alvin McCraney, screenwriter of Moonlight; April Reign, creator of #OscarsSoWhite; Angie Thomas, author of The Hate U Give; and eleven others. Touching on everything from cultural appropriation to power dynamics, “reverse racism” to white privilege, microaggressions to the tragic results of overt racism, this book serves as conversation starter, tool kit, and invaluable window into the life of a former “token Black kid” who now presents himself as the friend many of us need. Back matter includes an encyclopedia of racism, providing details on relevant historical events, terminology, and more.
About the author: Frederick Joseph is an award-winning marketing professional, media representation advocate, and writer who was recently selected for the Forbes 30 Under 30 list. He’s also the winner of the 2018 Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award, given by Comic-Con International: San Diego, and was selected for the 2018 Root 100 List of Most Influential African Americans. He lives in New York City.
My Thoughts: I highly recommend this book for every single white person out there. Whether you think you know a lot about equality and oppression, or whether you think you might be a racist. Even those people that have people of color in their life still have more they can learn. As a white mom of black and brown children I know I still have so much to learn, but I am taking the steps to educate myself and learn how I can stand up for my kids and prepare them for the future. As a mom of a black boy, I am terrified about what he is going to be up against during his lifetime, which is why it’s so important that we change things now!!!