6. Black Irony

Hank Willis Thomas

Blackness is, for some, religious. There are sacraments, saints and sinners in the National Church of Holy Blackness. In a new book, How to Be Black, the author is deeply concerned with blackness but is irreverent about our sacred identity and maybe even willing to give up the secrets of our religion. It is written by a church member who doesn't care: Baratunde Thurston, a comic who writes for the Onion, which loves slicing up sacred cows into burgers of funny. (He opens the chapter on his genealogy by saying, "My family has been black for a long, long time.") But...

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