Not a Genuine Black Man: Or, How I Claimed My Piece Of Ground In The Lily-White Suburbs by Brian Copeland is a book I borrowed from the library that I plan to purchase to keep in my own personal library.
Brian Copeland is a black man who grew up in San Leandro, California. At the time when his family moved there, San Leandro was a 99.99% white community and openly hostile to blacks.
Mr. Copeland grew up to be a successful comedian and radio show host amongst other impressive accomplishments. But, one day he got an anonymous letter stating,
“As an African American, I am disgusted every time I hear your voice because you are not a genuine black man.”
This begged the question, what is a genuine black man? And so began the comedy routine and later this autobiography.
His story is one so heart wrenching that you will find yourself in tears for the young Brian as he struggles to fit in but in return is unjustly frisked by police officers, beat up by peers, literally stoned, followed by store security, accused, oppressed, and denied one simple right that every human being is guaranteed under the United States Declaration of Independence – the pursuit of happiness.
Even through so much heartache, Brian manages to keep his sense of humor and you will even laugh aloud just as often as you’ll tear up while reading, Not a Genuine Black Man.
Ultimately, there is a happy ending, and with it, a message. No matter what your race, this is a book that can change your life and the way you view and treat others for the rest of your days. Of all the books I have recommended on my blog ever, I recommend this one over them all.