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.
Using her trademark wit alongside pop-culture references galore, Robinson explores everything from why Lisa Bonet is "Queen. Bae. Jesus," to breaking down the terrible nature of casting calls, to giving her less-than-traditional advice to the future female president, and demanding that the NFL clean up its act, all told in the same conversational voice that launched her podcast, "2 Dope Queens," to the top spot on iTunes. As personal as it is political, "You Can't Touch My Hair" examines our cultural climate and skewers our biases with humor and heart, announcing Robinson as a writer on the rise."
The Sexy Nerd ‘Revue’
While there isn’t a manual or instructional guide into the “black” experience, if you’re a non-person of color wanting a glimpse into our world, Robinson’s book is about as close as one might get! I absolutely loved this novel. I have to say I didn’t know much about Phoebe Robinson. I’m not into listening to podcasts much, but after doing some basic research of her on the internet, I was quite impressed with Robinson’s resume.
Each morning I’d read You Can’t Touch My Hair and I would literally bust a gut from laughing so hard, as I watched non-people of color look at me like this black woman has lost her entire mind. Eh, some may say that, but I say, when a comedian writes a book this good and you aren’t laughing, then the jokes on you, I suppose. She touched on so many things that I’ve had the unfortunate pleasure of dealing with in my own life.
When she began explaining what it’s like for black actors in the industry to get casting calls and to really tell it like it is, my jaw dropped. I wanted so much to believe she was joking about that, but the sad reality of it all is, I know she wasn’t kidding. Being followed around in stores is something I’m very used to, even to the point I’ve had non-people of color take their precious children to the side as if I want to snatch them away. Hmm, newsflash, trust and believe, your children are the last thing I’d ever want to steal.
I was really in awe as she expressed this idea or notion of post-racial era. Umm, I’m sorry, but what era is that? The last time I checked, this country was not without racism. In fact, if you take a look at our government and the news in general, I don’t think we’re “past” racism. OMG, are you friggin’ kidding me right now? That’s exactly how Robinson feels as well. This woman touched on so many things that should make the average person cry, but using her humor to keep it light, makes it bearable.
It’s truly sad that she had to write a book about what we should and shouldn’t do to a group of people, but she damn sure didn’t tell any lies. She hit the mark tremendously. I realize, after reading several reviews of her book, that many people weren’t feeling her humor. Well, it’s all good because I did. I don’t understand how some can take offense to what she’s saying when it’s her experiences. If you want to be offended, be offended by the offense being done to her, but not in the way she went about expressing it.
I kept seeing this book in all my magazines and online and I wondered what it was all about. After reading it, I quickly figured it out. This was really a deliriously funny book. You have to laugh to keep from crying, especially if you’re a minority. I must say the one section that made me laugh more than anything else is her hatred for my Pittsburgh Steelers. Eh, we have many haters, and having another Cleveland Brown fan hate on us is nothing new. I’d hate us too if I didn’t play for a winning team. But that’s the breaks, Phoebe! (chuckle).
The Sexy Nerd gives You Can’t Touch My Hair five fists pointing toward the sky. Robinson’s humor in taking pop-culture and basic knowledge in telling her truth was delightfully hilarious. I get her and I get the book. Laughter truly is the best medicine and Robinson’s book is a great pill to swallow. I couldn’t stop laughing. She’s really gifted. If you haven’t read this book, you need to add it to your shelf. Until next time, Open a Book and Get Mind Blown~~Keep It Sexy!