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Black card : a novel

by Terry, Chris L.,

Format: Print Book [2019]
Availability: Available at 5 Libraries 5 of 6 copies
Available (5)
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CLP - Allegheny Regional New Books FICTION Terry
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CLP - Carrick New Books FICTION Terry
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CLP - Downtown and Business First Floor - New Books FICTION Terry
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CLP - Hazelwood New Books FICTION Terry
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CLP - Squirrel Hill New Books FICTION Terry
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Whitehall Public Library New Book Collection IN TRANSIT
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CLP - Main Library First Floor - African American IN PROCESSING
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Summary

" Black Card holds many modes and many moods in its packed and tactile narrative. Chris L. Terry has managed to capture, all at once, the complications of being black, being young, and being in love. This is a detailed ride about finding one's way to the inside, and finding that the inside isn't all you thought it would be. This book is a mirror, inside of which I saw so many selves." --Hanif Abdurraqib, author of They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us and Go Ahead in the Rain

Chris L. Terry's Black Card is an uncompromising examination of American identity. In an effort to be "black enough," a mixed-race punk rock musician indulges his own stereotypical views of African American life by doing what his white bandmates call "black stuff." After remaining silent during a racist incident, the unnamed narrator has his Black Card revoked by Lucius, his guide through Richmond, Virginia, where Confederate flags and memorials are a part of everyday life.

Determined to win back his Black Card, the narrator sings rap songs at an all-white country music karaoke night, absorbs black pop culture, and attempts to date his black coworker Mona, who is attacked one night. The narrator becomes the prime suspect and earns the attention of John Donahue, a local police officer with a grudge dating back to high school. Forced to face his past, his relationships with his black father and white mother, and the real consequences and dangers of being black in America, the narrator must choose who he is before the world decides for him.

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "In Terry's (Zero Fade, 2013) second novel, an unnamed biracial musician navigates age-old stereotypes in a struggle for self-acceptance. His friend and mentor in Richmond, Virginia, Lucius who can be seen as representing the double-consciousness of lived Blackness versus perceived blackness, and the process of creating one's Black identity takes away his "Black Card" for failing to advocate for himself. Whether Terry's protagonist is "funky" or "punk-rock" means little in the face of racism, and he's forced to get real with himself when police suspect he was involved in an attack because he "fits the description." He eventually tunes out those who would rather sort him into "black stuff" and "white stuff" in favor of his own melody. One might consider this an adult version of Angie Thomas' The Hate U Give (2017) and other Black coming-of-age stories. While Terry doesn't make Lucius' role clear right away, his characterization, humor, and sensuality allow the reader to smell his sweat and feel his nervousness when he asks out his crush. Overall, this is a welcome tale that undercuts stereotypical portrayals of Blackness.--Parker Daniel Copyright 2019 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "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.)"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects African American punk rock musicians -- Fiction.
African Americans -- Race identity -- Fiction.
Racially mixed people -- Fiction.
Identity (Psychology) -- Fiction.
United States -- Race relations -- Fiction.
Satirical literature.
Psychological fiction.
Humorous fiction.
Publisher New York :[2019]
Language English
Description 258 pages ; 22 cm
ISBN 9781948226264
194822626X
Other Classic View