Thursday, October 11, 2007

Why Indeed?




Karen Hunter has been at the receiving end of a lot of criticism this week (See My Terry McMillan post below) and I'm going to have to add my fuel to the fire.

Why would this book, Why Black Men Love White Women, be her debut book for her new imprint at Karen Hunter Books?

I want to applaud any young Black woman who lands her own imprint at a major publishing house, but gee, can we come up with something a little more useful than a stand-up comedian's unfunny examination of interracial relationships. The most unfunny thing about it is, the author Rajen Persuad was serious when he wrote this book, self-published it and then sold it to Ms. Hunter.

I wouldn't mind if this was being sold as humor tome, but these people are positioning this book as if Persuad had some Real information to share. From his website for the book Persuad writes:

I don't know how much you know about sex, power, politics and racism but when you read Why Black Men Love White Women you will most certainly be in for an intellectual exercise. You will know what it’s like to journey into the minds of the men and women around you. You will understand how they think and why they think that way. You will then become in touch with their deepest motivations and may be able to predict their every move.

Huh?

According to Persuad, within the pages of his book you will read about:
Why we live how we live.
Why are so many people afraid of Black people. And why so many of us are afraid of ourselves.
Why so many people to this day still hate Black people.
Why are Blacks still “complaining” about America.
What is reparations all about.
Why is there so much crime and poverty.
And why does so much of your hard earned money go to pay for it.
Believe it or not, all of these issues are inextricably linked to sex, power, and politics and are directly related to Why Black Men Love White Women.




Again. I repeat. This guy is a comedian. I'm not saying there's no space on bookstore shelves for a book that pokes fun at interracial relationships. Why not? But this book doesn't seem to be going for the funny.

I saw the book on the shelf at Barnes and Noble yesterday. It has a snazzy new cover with a bald black man nuzzling up with a blonde-haired blue-eyed woman while an out-of-focus (rejected) black woman watches from the background. Very provacative. But remember, you can't always judge a book by it's cover. In this case, judge it by the content because the cover (tacky as it is) may be the best thing about it.

Persuad writes that this book was written primarily for Black women, but I think I'm going to pass.

If someone does decide to shell out $24 to buy it, please chime in here and tell us how you liked it.

Peace.

5 comments:

Denise said...

Hey Lori! I found your site through a friend. I have read that book and it was okay - not great, but not the worst book I've read either. The main points were fairly obvious: that white women are status symbols. I think he references O.J. and Nicole.

He also discusses the controversial topic of self-worth. Some dark-skinned men date white women so they'll have lighter skinned children. And there is actually a chapter - or at least a section - interviewing a group of black and Hispanic men who attest that white women give better blow jobs.

If anything the book is definitely interesting, mainly for it's honestly.

Denise said...

Sorry, just adding on to my other comment. The main reason why I had issues with it is because it makes you feel inferior as a black woman. Black men are interviewed as to why they don't like black women (too many issues, the attitude, inferior sexually, not as impressive to friends/family) and it's just sad that some men of our ethnicity judge all of us based on stereotypes.

After I read the book I talked to my boyfriend who assured me that men like that are just insecure. But then I guess this whole book stems from insecurity - on everyone's part - in general.

Me said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Me said...

Denise,

Thanks for taking the time to read the book and providing us with your opinion.

Since I still haven't read the book, I can't really comment on its contents. I'm just feeling like the topic and the provocative cover were being used as attention grabbers.

I do believe the issue should be looked at and written about, but perhaps by someone with a little more "authority" than a stand-up comedian. Because if he's being serious, then you gotta question his methodology, the people he surveyed etc.

I don't want people to think that this man's "findings" reflect the opinions of all or even most Black men. Like you said, perhaps the men the author interviewed already had their own issues before they started choosing their mates.

Anonymous said...

Hello,

I am currently reading "Why Black Men Love White Women." This book is extremely interesting. I have to say that I am disappointed by comments made by people who have already decided to give the author and the book a bad reputation based off of pre-conceived notions. And I'm not trying to be rude, but that's ignorant. Rajen uses various methods of research to support his theories and from what I can tell, he never claims to be an authority on the subject matter, but I think that he is a genius. One day some one else will come along and validate what he is saying, he'll probably be dead by then. That's what happens to profound people whose thinking is ahead.