The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell

The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell

Tales of A 6' 4", African American, Heterosexual, Cisgender, Left-leaning, Asthmatic, Black and Proud Blerd, Mama's Boy, Dad, and Stand-up Comedian

eBook - 2017
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"You may know W. Kamau Bell from his new, Emmy-nominated hit show on CNN, United Shades of America. Or maybe you've read about him in the New York Times, which called him "the most promising new talent in political comedy in many years." Or maybe from The New Yorker, fawning over his brand of humor writing: "Bell's gimmick is intersectional progressivism: he treats racial, gay, and women's issues as inseparable. " After all this love and praise, it's time for the next step: a book. The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell is a humorous, well-informed take on the world today, tackling a wide range of issues, such as race relations; fatherhood; the state of law enforcement today; comedians and superheroes; right-wing politics; left-wing politics; failure; his interracial marriage; white men; his up-bringing by very strong-willed, race-conscious, yet ideologically opposite parents; his early days struggling to find his comedic voice, then his later days struggling to find his comedic voice; why he never seemed to fit in with the Black comedy scene. or the white comedy scene; how he was a Black nerd way before that became a thing; how it took his wife and an East Bay lesbian to teach him that racism and sexism often walk hand in hand; and much, much more"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Dutton, 2017
ISBN: 1101985895 (electronic bk.)
9781101985892 (electronic bk.)
Branch Call Number: eBOOK B BELL
Characteristics: 1 online resource


From Library Staff

The host of CNN's Emmy-nominated United Shades of America, Bell uses his own life—e.g., his interracial marriage and early career struggles—to discuss major issues from race relations to right-wing politics.

Politicially Reactive podcast co-host Kamau Bell's latest book is sure to be entertaining, sharp, and quite a bit personal.

From the critics

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RobertELPL Jan 22, 2018

This was a great combination of memoir and comedic musings. Both insightful and funny, Bell does a great job of touching on a lot of different, difficult topics. Whether you are a fan of his, or haven't heard of him before, this is a title everyone should pick up and read. I have since looked him up on YouTube and he is as good as you'd expect.

Rebecca_Kohn Nov 02, 2017

I'm going to declare this as one of the most important books of 2017. W. Kamau Bell has a gift for looking at difficult topics from many angles, holding your attention to the painful or what he would call awkward parts, and finding humor and sometimes even resolution in the many predicaments happening across the country. Fans of his work will enjoy the details about his work in comedy in tv, readers interested in the life of a thoughtful comedian negotiating work/family life will appreciate his honesty, and anyone who wants to engage with a resonant discussion about race in America in 2017 will find important facets in this book.

Oct 26, 2017

I was a huge fan of "Totally Biased" and am a loyal viewer of "United Shades of America." I don't really fan out over anybody, but I was proud of myself when W. Kamau Bell favorited a tweet or two. I think he's dope with political commentary, comedy, and as an entertainer period. I'm also amused about how much of a hugger he is. If you've watched either of his shows, you're pretty much ready for the usual topics -- Denzel Washington, stand-up comedy background, his connection to Chris Rock, interracial marriage, fatherhood, etc. But what caught my attention more were the things I was unaware of, such as his views on The Correspondents Dinner (that I don't agree with), his views on the Green Party (wasted vote), his parents (loved every millisecond of hearing about them), his live performance of Rollin Band's "Liar" (never heard of the song before I read this book), and a few other oddities. One of the funniest parts of the entire book was about his dating life, specifically the way he fled onto that bus. I was giggling all the way home while reading that chapter. It took me awhile to get through this book because I wanted to make sure I didn't overlook anything. Good read.

Cynthia_N Sep 09, 2017

Hilarious! I found myself mentioning this book to most of my friends that I ran into as I was reading it! Bell presents his beliefs in a very passionate but not overbearing manner. I learned quite a bit and laughed quite a bit while reading. Highly recommended!

Jun 02, 2017

"Every few years, angry white men rebrand themselves as a way to disguise their racism. It my lifetime they have been called the alt-right, the Tea Party, the ‘silent majority.” And when they can’t come up with a new name to change to, they usually just go ‘Aww, screw it ! let’s just call ourselves the Ku Klux Klan again!’”
W. Kamau Bell is best-know for his acclaimed, but short-lived show "Totally Biased" and his current CNN show "United Shades of America." He's both a comedian and a social critic, and while I think he's funny, I think he's more influential as the latter and this book is definitely its best when he's dealing with issues of race. Like many comedians' books, it's a loosely connected string of anecdotes and autobiography. It's a breezy read, but a little unfocused. The strongest chapters are the more serious ones, like the show he did with members of the KKK and the one about a racial incident at a Berkeley cafe. I'd also recommend Phoebe Robinson's collection of essays, "You Can't Touch My Hair."


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