Black Card

Chris L. Terry. Catapult, $25 (272p) ISBN 978-1-948226-26-4
Terry’s darkly humorous coming-of-age novel (after Zero Fade) explores the nuances and challenges of being a young black man in America. A punk rock bassist with a white mother and black father living in Richmond, Va., the unnamed narrator struggles with feeling “black enough.” “Being mistaken for white erases half of me,” he muses, “and happens so often that I think I’ve failed at blackness.” In a desperate attempt to finally earn his Black Card—an actual card—he indulges in misconceived stereotypes of blackness. He tries to “speak more black” and changes up his style of dress. He earns his card but has it revoked by his guide/mentor Lucius when he fails to speak up during a racist incident. Determined to earn back his card, he performs rap songs at a white karaoke bar and musters up the courage to ask out his black coworker, Mona. When Mona is assaulted in her apartment, he becomes a suspect and is finally forced to face his racial identity. “The minute Mona told the cops about me, she’d given me something. She’d made it so I’d never, ever doubt that I was black.” This memorable, deeply insightful work has echoes of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man. Terry’s provocative and timely novel challenges readers to confront the racial stereotypes and injustices in America. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 05/24/2019
Release date: 08/01/2019
Genre: Fiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-68457-589-3
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