Cover of: NOT A GENUINE BLACK MAN | Brian Copeland



1 edition

Published by Hyperion .
Written in English.

About the Book

"As an African American, I am disgusted every time I hear your voice because YOU are not a genuine Black man!" –AnonymousBrian Copeland was a successful stand-up comedian, radio talk show host and local news commentator in Northern California when he received the above letter—a letter that would change the course of his career. In his mid-thirties at the time, happily married with kids, Copeland seemed to be living the American Dream. But underneath the perfect exterior was a painful history of survival. In 1972, when Brian was eight years old, his mother moved their family to the last place on the earth black families were voluntarily going: the 99.9%-white-and-we-like-it-that-way San Francisco suburb of San Leandro. It was an attempt to give her children a better life, away from their abusive father. But it was also a risky move, as the city had been named one of the most racist suburbs in America just the year before. And no sooner had they arrived than it became clear that the town would live up to its reputation. The day they arrived, Brian got his first look at the inside of a cop car; he’d made the mistake of being a black kid walking to the park carrying a baseball bat. Nothing was easy in San Leandro—not getting a haircut for the first day of school ("we don’t cut that kind of hair"), not buying his little sister a Christmas present (his second brush with the law, this time for alleged shoplifting), not even staying in their apartment (the landlord attempted to evict them almost the moment they arrived). It was a childhood Brian spent all of his adulthood attempting to forget, until one letter opened the floodgates. The result was a comedy routine that became a one-man show, and has now become an arresting, often funny, ultimately moving memoir of how our surroundings make us who we are.

The Physical Object

Format Hardcover
Number of pages 250
Dimensions 9.4 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
Weight 1.1 pounds

ID Numbers

Open Library OL8367952M
Internet Archive notgenuineblackm00cope
ISBN 10 1401302335
ISBN 13 9781401302337
Library Thing 1241977
Goodreads 35474

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