Black Card

Black CardWith Dark Humor, Chris L Terry S Black Card Is An Uncompromising Examination Of American Identity In An Effort To Be Black Enough, A Mixed Race Punk Rock Musician Indulges His Own Stereotypical Views Of African American Life By Doing What His White Bandmates Call Black Stuff After Remaining Silent During A Racist Incident, The Unnamed Narrator Has His Black Card Revoked By Lucius, His Guide Through Richmond, Virginia, Where Confederate Flags And Memorials Are A Part Of Everyday LifeDetermined To Win Back His Black Card, The Narrator Sings Rap Songs At An All White Country Music Karaoke Night, Absorbs Black Pop Culture, And Attempts To Date His Black Coworker Mona, Who Is Attacked One Night The Narrator Becomes The Prime Suspect And Earns The Attention Of John Donahue, A Local Police Officer With A Grudge Dating Back To High School Forced To Face His Past, His Relationship With His Black Father And White Mother, And The Real Consequences And Dangers Of Being Black In America, The Narrator Must Choose Who He Is Before The World Decides For Him UPDATE so i went to chris reading at books are magic and it went great, and afterwards it was all compressed signing line longtime no see catching up howza wife and kid and swapping freelance woesand then O LET US POSE FOR A PICTURE TOGETHERrude view spoiler forgiven hide spoiler It pains me, what I have to say about Chris L Terry s Black Card This novel could have been so much effective than it was, but its potential, sadly, was marred by its own neediness of misapplying every black stereotype you could imagine That isn t, however, the bone I have to pick with Black Card it was the lazy unwillingness to correct or debunk these stereotypes.In an effort to win back his Black Card a spiritual token of black acceptance that s made real in the book after being a silent bystander to a racist incident, our unnamed tragic mulatto half white, half black does black stuff to appeal to the whims of his white friends while trying to earn the respect of a Magical Negro figure called Lucius, who nevertheless remains unsatisfied with his attempts to prove he is black.The issue with these stories, unbeknownst to white people, is they are terribly predictable and formulaic, as any black person will tell you TM employs token black person to teach them how to be black, TM struggles to explain their identity crisis to all white friend group, TM remains passively negligent of very blatant acts of racism against blacks, TM tries and sometimes succeeds to charm Mona, the one black girl of his life who is reduced to a stepping stone on his journey, TM finds his blackness via old school hip hop and RB at the behest of white people, TM confronts white person friends to no avail whatsoever, and despite these bland efforts, TM somehow arrives at the conclusion that their mixed ness doesn t erase their blackness, and that blackness itself cannot be taught while forgetting to correct the problematic assumptions that led him to this revelation to begin with How, Sway This may sound cruel, but I have to be honest What turned me off most about this book is the fact that the storyteller who is already so far removed from the black experience as it is for being half white and white passing has the insolence to mock blackness in a way with no practical purpose that isn t self serving Any time the speaker makes even the slightest endeavor to confront racism stereotypes against black people, he essentially gives up Again, no correction.There are moments in this book when the narrator cringingly and continuously inserts a random RB song or hip hop reference or bursts into bits of black sketch comedy , those when he and his Magical Negro are mocking Ebonics like practicing our muhfukkas and then another when he learns something traumatic has happened to Mona the only girl he pines after in the entire book yet makes no real effort besides sending a weak ass text message to check on her well being The latter incident also struck a nerve with me, as the only real black female character in this story is subjected to violence at the hands of someone seemingly white, and with impunity, I might add Did I mention there s even the introduction of the wigger type in this story Because, what would such a trope be without one Eh.Not a single page wastes space to cherish black stereotypes, yet refuses to make equal efforts to deconstruct those ignorant ideas, as if to say, It is what it is For what it s worth, I did appreciate the narrator s albeit short lived discourse with Mona in which they challenge notions of blackness being synonymous with playing into stereotypes in one s actions, speech, and behavior, which is why I was all the disappointed this wasn t delineated upon throughout the entirety of the book Overall, Black Card does little at all to refute the very serious, very racist theories white people have about black people as it is but satirizing blackness, our language, and our mannerisms, in an effort to solicit sympathy for any tragic mulatto figure is dangerously problematic Nothing s the matter with using satire to educate your readers, as good satire is designed to do, but if you re going to indulge in stereotypes against black people, then you should keep that same energy towards correcting them.Period.With all due respect, though, thanks Catapult for gifting me a free copy of this book If you liked my review, feel free to follow me parisperusing on Instagram. Black Card is the satirical story of a mixed race punk rock musician who, determined to win back his coveted Black Card, is suspected of a violent crime in early 2000s Richmond, Virginia, and is confronted with the alienation and everyday aggressions experienced in an absurd world divided by race. BLACK CARD takes the teenage search for the self through a sharp and surreal map of punk southern rap rock Virginia, drawn and crossed in racial lines and guided by the heart and wit of Chris Terry s indelible characters A kickflip classic. Chris Terry beat me to the punch This book has all the stuff I d put into a book of writing about my own life He writes about mixed race identity and punk rock in a way that only someone who has lived it could I recommend this to anyone who has an interest in either. Chris L Terry s hilariously unnerving novel, Black Card, grapples with questions of racial identity, pitting one mixed race, punk rocking barista against an alarmingly racist circle of friends and strangers, a police investigation that views him as the prime suspect of a violent crime, and the existential threat of having lost his Black Card, the lone tie to his Blackness Black Card is probing, revelatory and deftly toes it s way through the murky waters of the bi racial experience Chris L Terry is infinitely wise and the heir apparent to the likes of Paul Beatty and Percival Everett. I had high expectations and this book totally exceeded them I don t often laugh out loud when reading but this book got me a few times I can t recommend it enough I ve already given away one copy as a gift and it s only been out like a week. This book is about a young gentlemen trying to figure out is he black or is he white The book started out slow and had a minimally effective plot Book was a quick read. A super fun read right from page one. it s easy to lose it when you re looking for yourself.4.5.Black Card is a satirical novel that reads almost like a memoir It delicately explores life of a mixed race man living in the old confederate capitol of Richmond Va Terry has created a work so searing and truthful that it makes you question the very logic which it defies Facing off against topics on the hot stove of society these days and written with such complex fury that made it so effortless to fly through these pages I also had a personal attachment to the novel as its set in the city I live in, so I knew every road, every neighborhood and place that Terry spoke of, making it even easier to be engulfed into the story and feel like I m walking right next to the narrator the entire time.The unnamed narrator of black card can be assumed to be based off of Terry himself, the son of a black man and a white woman, the latter being who he most resembles, save for his hair He also is in a punk band and grew up skateboarding and being surrounded by all white friends His only black friend being Lucious, his guide to the life he so struggles to identify with but so desperately wants to acknowledge Once he finally embraces and starts to explore his black identity he finds out the real dangers and consequences that come with it, and being surrounded by the southern city of Richmond crawling with confederate statue memorials and racist history the process of navigating this newfound selfhood isn t easy The so called coming of age and awakening of this literary character was an absolute joy to follow With advanced praise from Danzy Senna, Samantha Irby, and Hanif Abduraraqib, Black card is a dark horse of a book that should be added to everyones to be read list All my Richmond friends especially need to read this book, you will LOVE it