“How to Make a Slave and Other Essays by South Side native Jerald Walker was one of the year’s smartest sleepers, an often hilarious roundup of stories about the obliviousness of white liberals, race and restaurant seating, and the writer’s own mentor.”—Chicago Tribune
Topic: Beyond the Book Book Club
Time: Feb 24, 2021 06:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
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Meeting ID: 849 2793 4686
How To Make a Slave and other Essays by Jerald Walker
Finalist for the 2020 National Book Award in Nonfiction
For the black community, Jerald Walker asserts in How to Make a Slave, “anger is often a prelude to a joke, as there is broad understanding that the triumph over this destructive emotion lay in finding its punchline.” It is on the knife’s edge between fury and farce that the essays in this exquisite collection balance. Whether confronting the medical profession’s racial biases, considering the complicated legacy of Michael Jackson, paying homage to his writing mentor James Alan McPherson, or attempting to break free of personal and societal stereotypes, Walker elegantly blends personal revelation and cultural critique. The result is a bracing and often humorous examination by one of America’s most acclaimed essayists of what it is to grow, parent, write, and exist as a black American male. Walker refuses to lull his readers; instead his missives urge them to do better as they consider, through his eyes, how to be a good citizen, how to be a good father, how to live, and how to love.
Beyond the Book Book Club selects fiction or non-fiction titles that are timely, and are socially, politically or culturally significant. Beyond the Book Book Club meets approximately every other month, on Wednesday evenings. Led by LPB owner, Kirsten Hess.