I feel like I’m constantly promoting this book but I can’t suggest it enough. Are you a non- black person hoping to understand black folks more? Do you want to make a black friend without embarrassing yourself? are you doing dances from black culture and don’t know no black people? You wanna know why black folk are so loud? Do you want to have a cultural existential crisis? This is the book for you.
Seriously I recommend this to anyone who is a blues/swing dancer and anyone interested in race relations. Often one of the first questions I get is Grey, why are you recommending a book on black culture written by a white male. In the beginning I found this question kind of odd. But after thinking about it I can understand why came up. Part of the reason I create obsidian is because I wanted to offer a space that allows people to learn about culture in any objective way. The simple fact is that there’s a translation error that often happens when I send people things that are written by black people about black culture. It’s because within our culture there’re things that are assumed, just like any other culture,And If you don’t know that some assumed things You’re not going to take up all of the information. I really enjoyed this book because it is written from an outsiders perspective.It means that he assumes nothing and it skips over nothing under the assumption that you already understand this thing. I also found it to be more easily relatable to white culture.
The book is nonjudgmental about either culture and explores the differences between both. It uses clear examples to highlight did unique differences in value systems in each culture. Although slightly dated, it was made in the 80s,I still find it to be a valuable resource and I think more people should read it. It was this book that made it clear to me that in my eyes education is really what separates us. Neither culture is inherently malicious but you can’t expect people to work by your rules when they have their own rules that they know the work by. To me bridging the gap of understanding between both cultures has become a focus in my life.And in some ways this was the book that really made me understand myself and my community significantly better. So, I hope you check it out and tell me what you think.