eBook papercuts.co Ý You Can't Touch My Hair And Other Things I Still Have to

A hilarious and affecting essay collection about race gender and pop culture from celebrated stand up comedian and WNYC podcaster Phoebe RobinsonPhoebe Robinson is a stand up comic which means that often her everyday experiences become points of comedic fodder And as a black woman in America she maintains sometimes you need to have a sense of humor to deal with the absurdity you are handed on the daily Robinson has experienced her fair share over the years she's been unceremoniously relegated to the role of the black friend as if she is somehow the authority on all things racial; she's been uestioned about her love of U2 and Billy Joel isn t that white people music?; she's been called uppity for having an opinion in the workplace; she's been followed around stores by security guards; and yes people do ask her whether they can touch her hair all the time Now she's ready to take these topics to the page and she s going to make you laugh as she s doing it Using her trademark wit alongside pop culture references galore Robinson explores everything from why Lisa Bonet is ueen Bae Jesus to breaking down the terrible nature of casting calls to giving her less than traditional advice to the future female president and demanding that the NFL clean up its act all told in the same conversational voice that launched her podcast 2 Dope ueens to the top spot on iTunes As personal as it is political You Can't Touch My Hair examines our cultural climate and skewers our biases with humor and heart announcing Robinson as a writer on the rise


10 thoughts on “You Can't Touch My Hair And Other Things I Still Have to Explain

  1. says:

    Is this book an American thing? It might be you have to be American to enjoy it to get the references like her particular brand of humour Feel the catharsism of being berated for being racist although it's not your personal fault if you are White but don't worry she likes White people especially dudes No matter how much you and everyone else might want this time to be Post Racist it can't be Whites are holding it back The author says that there are BPS Black People's Secrets which are kept from Whites and tells one that I didn't get Like having to say someone could act even though he couldn't because White people said he couldn't Was that supposed to be enlightening or funny? I didn't get either I did try I read the first 50 pages even the forewords which were boring as most forewords are then I swapped to the audio book but although I liked the premise of the book a racial education for the ignorant Whites done in a warm and humourous way As Robinson herself says she isn't Ta Nehisi Coates I wasn't enlightened and I wasn't amused I found the authors' voices strident and trying too hard After reading the South African Trevor Noah's 10 star Born a Crime I was raring to go on this book But it's chalk and cheese Trevor Noah is a brilliant writer and Phoebe Robinson might be all right with the politically involved skits but a book? It's like bloggers writing a book Just because you can write in one way doesn't mean that you will be eually able in other formats or genres It came across to me like going to a comedy theatre No matter how hard the comedian tries it's just so obvious that the insights and jokes aren't fresh it's the same show repeated nightly only the audience differsCaribbean women and hair touching view spoilerI asked a clerk today about hair touching and she said it is Black people touching hair Like if it has been relaxed and is long they want to touch it to see if it is all yours They want to touch children's hair to see how soft it is if it is 'good' hair I like touching babies' hair especially if they have a lot and it's like a fluffy cloud She said it's a black people thing always touching each other's hair but she'd never had a white person do it I get Black kids fascinated with my red ringlets They like to get a fistful and tug hide spoiler


  2. says:

    I was inspired to read You Can't Touch My Hair at GR friend Taryn's suggestion as a counterpoint to Jodie Picoult's portrayal of Ruth in Great Small Things I didn't know anything about Phoebe Robinson who I now know is a young writer feminist actor and comic but I'm glad I read her book of personal essays She writes about her views and experiences of being an African American woman she writes about experiences as a student in casting calls on the set shopping dealing with her hair and much She doesn't purport to speak on behalf of all African American women but to the extent that she sheds some light on the experience of living in the shadow of mainstream expectations and stereotypes her anecdotes and observations go well beyond the personal She has a great narrative style she's funny but direct and unapologetic Robinson's book is a timely and compelling counterpoint to the ugly morass into which current American politics have descended I suspect that the audio version of her book would be even better because there's a lovely spoken uality to her writing Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an opportunity to read an advance copy


  3. says:

    Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || || PinterestI just read Amy Schumer's GIRL WITH THE LOWER BACK TATTOO and if you follow me you'll remember that I had some complaints Mainly that comedians for whatever reason write unfunny memoirs that are either a self promotional b long shopping lists of gratitude or c boring dry It's like they have to prove a point that they're not just the funny man or woman they can be serious just you watch Butthat's not why people are going to buy your memoirs It's not why I buy your memoirsPhoebe Robinson's memoir is not like that at all It opens with the history and the politics of natural hair and why it's rude to ask to touch it Robinson discusses how different hairstyles can make a statement if you're a woman of color the hours and effort that go into maintaining natural hair and the frustration she and other women feel when they are othered based on their appearanceAfter this as a bit of a wind down she discusses some of the famous black celebrities who contributed to the pop cultural lexicon of black hairstyles This section includes pictures and commentary and I really enjoyed seeing the evolving looksThe middle section is a bit about Phoebe herself and some of the things she loves as a sort of belated meet cute before she gets into the heavy stuff Try not falling for this woman I dare you She's so charming and funny and self effacing She drops pop culture references and slang like a pro and her voice is so strong that you really get the feeling that you're having a dialogue with her right nowIt can be surprisingly difficult to capture a voice on paper and she does it really really wellAfter the meet cute Phoebe gets into the Deep Stuff Race Stereotypes Bigotry Guilt Othering Coded language Privilege The stuff that will send a small population running for the hills or their laptops screaming about rabid SJWs But Phoebe discusses these topics in a really great way supporting her points with examples that help give you an idea of what she feels and why when people use insensitive words like exotic urban or uppity or why she got so angry when a woman burst into tears after Phoebe was forced to read aloud and then later criticized her offensive lesbian masterslave love story and claimed that she a white college student felt picked onRiiiiiiiightPhoebe gets right to the point Even now decades after the civil rights movement and about a century after the end of slavery we are still pretty damn discriminatory as a society And discrimination doesn't have to be overt You don't have to say the N word to discriminate Discrimination can be as implicit as designing camera film for white skin treating your black friend like they're the ambassador for all people of color or only carrying lighter shades of foundation at a drug store Buzzfeed did a few role reversal videos 1 2 that help illustrate what things look like from the outside the privilege zone but the fact that it feels so ridiculous just goes to show how heavily integrated such stereotypes are within the structure of society and why we still need changeThe book ends with Phoebe writing a series of letters to her young niece about what it means to be black biracial and a woman and the importance of being an authentic compassionate individual who is open to new experiences but also not afraid to stand up for her principles She brings up some great points too but after the previous section it feels a bit anticlimactic I can see why Phoebe chose to end her book this way though You don't want to leave your readers on a note of moral outrage for better or for worse and it helps bring the memoir full circle as Phoebe starts out talking about the politics of the parts of the individual and ends with the politics of the whole articleThis is probably one of my top 5 favorite female memoirs ranking right up there with Felicia Day's YOU'RE NEVER WEIRD ON THE INTERNET and Tina Fey's BOSSYPANTS It made me cry out I relate to that I am interested in that I am outraged by that and I want to be your friend by turns I love memoirs that are passionate and political and energized and this book was all of those things It was also thought provoking and honest in a way that a lot of memoirs these days aren't I think you've probably heard me complain that too many celebrity memoirs are too nice; nice is nice but it isn't controversial and it doesn't make a statement and it doesn't get you talking eitherI loved that And I love Phoebe And now I'm off to check out her comedy and stalk her on TwitterThank you so much Netgalley for the free copy 45 to 5 stars


  4. says:

    Case in point One time my compensation for doing a stand up show was a vibrator with a computer USB cord charger which I have refused to use till this day because I'm pretty sure a vibe teaming up with a laptop in order to power on is what Terminator 3 Rise of the Machines was warning us about 74I have no idea who Phoebe Robinson is I might have been exposed to her at some moment while reading BITCH but if I was I have no memory of itThis book might be a little hard to get into Perhaps you think it is a bit rough in the beginning But the book gets better and better the deeper you get into it so my advice to anyone who is struggling is to keep reading If you still don't like it halfway through give up But Robinson's style and humor grew on me the I readThe only complaint I have about this book is Robinson's pop culture references This book is steeped STEEPED in pop culture references It is nonstop There's about 5 10 on every single pageI'm like an 88 year old when it comes to pop culture I just do not watch TV and never really have I've watched very little TV in my life Music is another thing I don't get I listen to music but pay almost zero attention to song names or artist names Sports zero Know close to nothing The only thing Robinson referenced that I got was movies I know moviesThis lack of pop culture knowledge was unfortunate for me because Robinson writes like Racism Do you remember when pop culture reference said on pop culture reference? And everyone freaked out? It was just like when pop culture reference did pop culture reference on pop culture reference Ha ha ha And I'm like I don't understand what you just said I can't tell if it's funny or not because I have no idea what you are talking aboutI think this book would be better suited for a person who ingests a lot of pop culture It's extremely pop culture heavy Robinson was constantly referring to people and shows and songs and singers that I'd never heard of I'm tv and music deficient Whoosh All that went right over my head and it was a good chunk of materialRobinson is funny She gets funnier and funnier as the book goes on or at least it seems that way as you adjust to and get used to her cadence and sense of humor The book gave me some genuine out loud laughs Robinson's writing actually reminds me a lot of Nenia Campbell's style and humor when she pens her reviews They both have the same sort of sarcastic humor and non stop aside jokes that pepper their writing I couldn't stop thinking of Nenia Campbell as I read this book which wasn't a bad thing I also think Nenia Campbell is much familiar with pop culture than I amRobinson makes some amazing points about racism sexism feminism and the patriarchy She does this in a humorous way this is a 'fun' read about these topics which is rare I think my favorite parts were the parts where Robinson describes her real life run ins with racism and sexism I hope a lot of non female and non black people pick up this book because it's very eye opening and very educational yet funny and relatable There are tons of amazing books about sexism and racism but as Robinson points out in this book sometimes they are unread by the people who need to read them most because they are seen as accusational or depressing Sad that we need to sugarcoat our attempts to make the world less racist and sexist but it's true And Robinson does a great job at it I think Robinson illustrates the daily trials of living as a black woman in the US of A very well She has some great anecdotes and she's wonderful at making it clear how much bullshit she has to deal with on a day to day basis I ended up really enjoying the bookTL;DR A funny shining book about sexism and racism in America or to the point in Robinson's life thus far The only caveat I have to give you is that the book is very pop culture heavy and if you are not immersed in pop culture a lot of these jokes are going to make no sense to youStill as the book goes on and you get and used to Robinson's writing style and humor you can't escape a belly laugh once in a while She's funny D I had to end up giving this five stars especially since she ends the book by talking about the bullshit misogyny that capped off the KINGSMAN movie She's just on point in this book what can I say? I'm looking forward to reading Everything's Trash But It's Okay laterUPDATE 07042019Don't Touch My Hair by Solange KnowleshttpsyoutubeYTtrnDbOAU


  5. says:

    This book had been on my radar since before it published in October of last year A collection of personal essays that tackle issues of race and identity it gave me a glimpse of racism as it is experienced by marginalized populations in much the same way Claudia Rankine’s Citizen did Except that where Citizen was lyrical a breathtaking work of prose poetry Robinson’s book is knock you on your ass hysterical Which makes sense considering that Robinson is a stand up comic with a resume that includes Late Night With Seth Meyers Broad City and her WNYC podcast 2 Dope ueens I feel grateful that she has so much out there that I can still explore— Steph Auterifrom The Best Books We Read In March 2017 An utter delight of a book from Jessica Williams’ forward to Phoebe Robinson’s last page You Can’t Touch My Hair is a collection of essays dripping in humor honesty and pop culture references that weaves effortlessly between important conversations about racegender to silly conversations like ranking U2 members for bow chicka wow wow purposes And if Jessica Williams doesn’t have a book deal yet someone needs to get on that–Jamie Canavesfrom The Best Books We Read In June 2016


  6. says:

    Comedian Phoebe Robinson addresses race gender and pop culture in this collection of eleven humorous essays Robinson is the creator and one of the hosts of the 2 Dope ueens podcast She also has a series on YouTube called Woke Bae I'm behind the times and had never encountered her work before The foreword is written by 2 Dope ueens cohost and Daily Show correspondent Jessica Williams which is what made me interested in this book It's not the typical celebrity memoir that I could breeze through in a few hours but it's entertaining and thought provoking The kind of growth reuired to move past race is nearly impossible to achieve because racism is rooted in the foundation of America Without awareness or acknowledgment of how these things have left a permanent stain on our country then no amount of blind hope is going to remedy the erosion that race and racism have done to this country Robinson writes about her experiences as a black woman both in and out of the entertainment industry Some of the issues she covers are America's uncomfortable relationship with black hair the evolution of her attitude towards her own hair being the black friend Hollywood casting microaggressions coded language and the angry black woman myth She reveals the subtle ways that racism and sexism are ingrained in modern culture These are all serious topics but the book is not an academic treatise She tackles all the issues with her uniue brand of humor Even though I have zero comedic timing I was able to enjoy the print version because her writing voice is so distinctive However I would've opted for the audio book if given the chanceThe writing style is conversational You can get a good sense of her writing by visiting her blog Blaria She uses a lot of hashtags and modern slang #WayHarshTai ridicedu Every paragraph is packed with pop culture references Best part? I actually recognized 95% of them which is rare for me If you came of age in the late 90searly 00s and have a deep appreciation of The West Wing and Shonda Rhimes's productions you should definitely be in the clear She had my interest clinched with mentions '99 Ricky Martin and Kids Incorporated I do get a little bored when I'm not as invested in the people or shows mentioned like the  Ranking Members of U2 in the Order of Whom I Want to Sleep With section of My Nine Favorite Guilty Pleasures I was most interested in her personal experiences that diverged from my own so my mind would start drifting off when it veered away from those topics While not all of the book resonated with me personally she struck a perfect balance between light and heavy subject matter Explaining your life to a world that doesn't care to listen is often draining than living in it There's something for everyone in this book Many readers will be able to directly relate to Robinson's experiences For others there are important lessons being aware that racism still exists in a variety of ways and to not dismiss someone else's experience simply because it isn't your own or it's too uncomfortable to deal with Two of the anecdotes were especially memorable for me the director who called Robinson uppity and the classmate who wrote creative fiction about a romance between a slave and a slave owner's daughter Instead of learning and gaining a well rounded viewpoint these two immediately put their defenses up and completely flipped out when confronted Coincidently I read these chapters when White Fragility Training was making the rounds on FacebookDespite the seriousness and importance of the topics addressed it's one of the rare books that has actually made me laugh out loud It's also one of the few celebrity memoirs that made me think even weeks after I read the last page If you are interested in further exploring the topics addressed in this book you might be interested in• Born a Crime by Trevor Noah pub date 111516 This one is about coming of age in South Africa from a male point of view but there is a lot of overlap with themes HumorNonfiction• Citizen by Claudia Rankine Especially the sections on microaggressions and Serena Williams Nonfiction• We Love You Charlie Freeman Charlotte's chaptersEnrolling in an predominately white schoolCoded language FictionI received this book for free from Penguin Random House in exchange for an honest review This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review The publication date is October 4 2016


  7. says:

    We may not be in a post racial society but I tell you what when funky funny Phoebe can tell us what white people do that makes her crazy and why she doesn’t want to be anybody’s token black friend I think we’ve moved the needle since the last century I remember the first time an African man told me that the only pictures he’d had taken in his years of graduate school were those taken by a Singaporean man who knew how to get the camera to register his skin color and expression Robinson says something similar here maybe it’s best if we first acknowledge a color difference before we declare it doesn’t matterRobinson does plenty of things in this “breakout book deal” but the thing that drew me in was the chance to learn unfiltered how black women had such dope fantastic hair while white folk have to make do with boring thin stuff that flies away and looks pretty much the same everyday no matter what we do to it I first learned a little about the time and energy and money serious black hair coiffeurs reuire in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novel Americanah but now I think I get it And no I don’t think anyone should have to do this so that other folks will love them It is however an art form another art form that black folk have created perfected and strutted Shonda Rhimes in her book Year of Yes tells us as a teen she tried to get her hair looking like Diana Ross every morning before classes Oh girlI did the same thing with some magazine model or other whose look was so far from mine that a million years of evolution wouldn’t have changed that difference between us It is definitely not worth the effort And the “creamy crack” or “crack cream” break me up girl sounds positively dangerous Forget it immediately Get a wig if you want to toss straight hair so much and definitely don’t subject yourself to chemical burns Come on If that is what’s reuired f them I wouldn’t do it Who the heck is calling the shots here?When Robinson describes a bedroom scene where the woman is wearing an elastic do rag to protect her afro and she insists that a real man would still get a boner regardless I laughed all right But then it occurred to me that is the definition of drop dead sexy strong and sexy when black womanhood doesn’t even need to fling her hair around to get to home base She commands the stage I’m impressed Personally I’d kill for the simplicity of a close crop and call it uits But I ain’t no Phoebe RobinsonJessica Williams Phoebe’s “werk wife” writes the introduction to this book Williams was a writercorrespondent on The Daily Show and now the two perform standup at various locations in Brooklyn and work a podcast WYNC called 2 Dope ueens Robinson had a vision of where she wanted to go and to that end began a blog called Blaria in 2014 When the Robinson and Williams standup routine started to take off a new piece in the NYT tried to keep track Robinson also has a talk show style podcast she started last year called Sooo Many White Guys She's angling for Oprah's job and I think she's becoming a worthy successor She certainly has driveIf the material is sometimes juvenile well juvenile can be funny There is one thing that may eventually limit the range of the women though all their references for jokes relate to TV or movies When it works it’s very good indeed but not everyone is so deep into popular culture or have looked at it with such seriousness and depth of understanding It is fascinating to watch Robinson deconstruct an old movie like a college professor does a piece of literature but then our mind starts thinkingwhat else can this woman do that would be—less fun maybe—but important? Then I remember what she is doing desensitizing race relations telling white folk what bothers black folk sharing some intimacies and some vulnerabilities and I realize she is doing exactly what she needs to be doing right now and she is doing it funny she is doing it sexy she is doing it in braids in long soft curls in dreads and in a bust 'em afro She’s strong she’s sexy she’s outspoken and she’s unstoppable now I’m a fanI have loaded a 2 Dope ueens holiday video podcast on my blog for you to see what you’re missing


  8. says:

    Find all of my reviews at came upon this book when I went to the library’s website looking for an audio version of Tracy Morgan’s book which they did not have and they offered me this instead I mean maybe just a lil’ bit You would think there would be like 10000000 other former SNL cast member memoirs or middle age stand up comic bios to drop on me before a 30 year old podcaster but whatever I’m an easy sell so I downloaded it In case you couldn’t tell from the above I had zero clue who this girl is But hey at least I knew what Upright Citizens Brigade is since I’m a geezer and nearly every comic I ever loved either sprouted from there or the Groundlings Ha Sprouted from the Groundlings – so funny Or not People are always telling me about podcasts but who the eff has time for that? I am old I work full time and I also have a family to try and keep alive Heck I just started doing audiobooks like 17 minutes ago and ancestrycom said I am 100% Bibliophile so that makes zero sense I wouldn’t have the first clue of how to even find a podcast – let alone a good one – and I seriously doubt there is one magical enough to keep my interest for multiple episodes or whatever the fuck a podcast show is called When I hear the word podcast I think of someone sitting in their mom’s basementattic turned “sound studio” with some half ass euipment that picks up sounds no one ever wants to hear like how they aren’t super great at breath control while speaking or that they are a producer of extra saliva And while the production uality was sound Ha Sound isthisthingon??? my listening experience was the euivalent of any time I ever dared to find out what any insert any name at all here I mean really ANY name because they are all exactly the same wannabe famous YouTuber had to say about things – except I couldn’t see this broad make what I can only imagine were eually annoying faces to go along with her eye twitch inducing delivery Thesegifs pretty much sum things up There was a lot of this With sprinkles of this And if you took a drink every time she did this You would die before the paramedics even got the tube down your gullet in order pump all the alcohol out of your stomachThere was also a Bizarro World factor where this woman who is a decade younger than me somehow only talked about things that even I thought were dated Seriously was Carrie Bradshaw really that much of an influence on your life????? If so let me uote The Donald #sadAs for content? If a middle aged white chick in flyover country doesn’t learn anything new surely it can’t be that Maybe I would have found tidbits of interest if I had opted for the physical version However since I was so distracted by the bleeding out of my ears from listening to this torture session I’m choosing to offer up a couple of other selections that might be of interest and Imma do Netflix programs which is pretty much unheard of for me to mix things up For those of you looking for the answers regarding hair and why you can’t touch it look no further than the sheer perfection which is I think I’ve watched this 10 timesAnd for those of you who have an interest in culture stereotypes and food It’s simply brilliantI’m giving this 2 Stars pretty much out of the goodness of my cold black heart and because like I said above I may have not wanted to drive off a bridge if I had read this rather than listened to it But as far as the audio goes?????


  9. says:

    You Can't Touch My Hair is a good representation of today's pop culture one replete with hostages movie and music references While this made it interesting for about the first 30% of the book I found it very difficult to continue after Dear Future Female President While Phoebe's comedy is hilarious in its honesty and rawness I wish issues raised in the latter part of the book seemed like first world problems Moreover in some instances Phoebe came across as judgemental and whiny there was even an instance of fat shaming making the read extremely jarring s because this is often waved off as totally acceptable and understandable Overall I found this book to be okay What started off with a bang started to get less interesting as it progressed Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for approving my reuest for a free digital copy in exchange for a honest review


  10. says:

    Phoebe Robinson's delivers laughs per page than any other book of essays by a female comedian in recent memory Yes I'm including Tina Fey And Amy Poehler Not only that she dispenses wisdom and tackles issues that go beyond the typical being a woman in comedy is hard thing a lot of these books do You know how sometimes you're reading the new Mindy Kaling book and she'll start talking about the realities of being a woman of color in entertainment and you think she's just about to start going for it and then she starts talking about zits or B J Novak or some other thing and never really goes there? Phoebe Robinson goes there This book is about those realities and yet it is so constantly hilarious that it's hard to figure out how she does it She talks about microaggressions and then she's ranking the members of U2 based on bone ability This tightrope walk defines the whole book and it's pretty masterfulOften with this kind of book that's kind of a mix between essay and memoir there will be the occasional weak section or the short fluffy chapters thrown in so it doesn't look to short But not this one Every chapter felt solid and consistent and you could read for a long stretch or a little bit and feel really good about itIf you're a fan of the 2 Dope ueens podcast this book is probably already high up on your list It will only confirm that Phoebe is even funnier than you thought she was