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The Events and Message of Adam Mansbach’s Angry Black White Boy
Following white Jew Macon Detornay, who much better self-identifies with black culture, Angry Black White Boy exposes the atrocities in both obvious and covert Caucasian view of blacks. Early in the text, the Bostonian college freshman and descendant of the legendary and notoriously racist very first baseman “Cap Anson”, moves to New York to attend Colombia University, exactly where he rooms with Andre Walker, the descendant of the famously-tormented-by-Cap-Anson baseball player “Fleet” Walker. Macon rapidly gets a job as a taxi driver, an occupation which additional exposes the self-absorption of whites in their loose-tongued conversations with both Macon and their colleagues. Frustrated and angered with the self-righteous attitudes of his passengers, Macon begins robbing them, stealing their wallets and neckties. Feeling as although his efforts are teaching the “white devil(s)” (Mansbach 24) a lesson, he is understandably displeased when the police reports of his actions describe a black thief, as his victims are unable to connect their recollection of the events to Macon’s white face. Furious, Macon clearly displays his face to his subsequent victim, demanding the displeased backseat rider to confirm his ethnicity, “Take a very good look. What fucking color am I?” (Mansbach 112). Titled “Trader”, the initial book in this novel refers to Macon trading his whiteness for black culture, hanging up his Bean boots in exchange for some fresh Jordan’s, as he starts his crusade for equality and reparation for the sins of his ancestors.
The second book, “Traitor”, foretells in its title Macon’s downfall in regards to his commitment to the Race Traitor Project result in, and his subsequent abandonment of it. The book starts with Downing and McGrath, New York’s white-as-the-crack-epidemic Batman and Robin police duo, arriving at Colombia to arrest Macon considering that he fits the description of his last victim’s recollection of the robbery. Soon after becoming beaten by the police in the automobile, Macon is taken to a holding cell exactly where he remained only for a quick whilst until Andre and his friend Nique bailed him out. Upon his release, Macon discovers that his heroics have spread rapidly all through the news and catapulted him to stardom, and paparazzi have been waiting in mass outdoors the police station. In his first public speaking, Macon declares the bold mission statement of what will be his campaign for long-awaited justice, “White folks are not evil, but evil is white folks.” (Mansbach 144). Preceded by Nique energizing the crowd, Macon holds a poetry reading at 1 two fifth and Lenox, where Malcolm X preached, exactly where he narrates a self-written piece outlining his beliefs of America’s racial program and treatment of African Americans. He then speaks controversially on a radio station, followed by a television speak show exactly where he speaks of the racist mental processes of whites when they see a black individual in numerous situations. Lastly, Macon then goes on one more speak show, Pedantic Perspectives, exactly where he boldly declares, on behalf of his “Race Traitor Project”, the upcoming Friday to be the very first annual “Day of Apology” (Mansbach 204) in New York. The objective of the event is for white folks to apologize to blacks for all of the approaches in which they have mistreated, judged, or wrongly viewed them. At the following rally on the Day of Apology, Macon begins to witness the mutation of his concept, as the widespread white interpretation is to immerse themselves in black culture, donning flamboyant African-American attire and listening to their music. White appropriation of black culture is an age-old practice, through white’s assumption of black music and its production once it was viewed as lucrative and many other elements (George 1-21). Right after producing the crowd conscious of their inaccuracy of interpretation, Macon sends them out to apologize, hoping they will come to comprehend the which means of the occasion via executing it. Juxtaposed with the misinterpretation of those described previously, Mansbach then describes several situations of the genuine, intended purposed of the occasion becoming carried out. Even though walking the streets of New York, Macon, Nique, and Andre witness the chaos ensuing when a number of are killed in a conflict initiated by a racist white man calling Macon a “nigger lover” (Mansbach 250) who fires a pistol at them repeatedly. Firing into the air with Macon’s gun, Nique’s bullet falls and kills a Black Hebrew protestor, whilst the bullet of the assailant ricochet and struck a white lady that had been attempting to apologize to blacks, but to no avail. In order to quit the madness, Macon goes on neighborhood news to say that he has realized the white race is incapable of redemption and tells them they would be ideal to kill themselves. He then places a gun in his personal mouth and realizes that he himself is unwilling to die for the lead to. Macon steals the news station van and abandons his friends, his result in and chiefly, his beliefs.
Arriving in New Jersey at the begin of book three, “Race”, Macon boards a bus to go to Los Angeles and falls asleep. Upon waking, he finds that he is in Alabama and decides to get off the bus and go use a pay phone to get in touch with Nique and Andre, exactly where he discovers that Nique has assumed command. Nique then tends to make a proposal to Macon that he meet with Dr. Conway Donner, descendant of “Red Donner” who famously died a martyr for Fleet Walker, who desires Macon’s established platform to market his psychological approaches of modifying the image and cultural identity of men and women to what ever they select. Macon meets with him and declines and ahead of boarding the bus again, he goes into a shop to acquire meals for his trip. Unknowingly to Macon, the rednecks that recognize and kidnap him and an additional black man (who also is involved in the arrangement) in the shop are all portion of an elaborate scheme constructed by Nique and Dr. Donner to display the effectiveness of his plan. Getting taken out to a remote location, Macon is offered the selection to punch the black man or be shot, and he punches him. He is then handed the gun to kill the man but he, as expected, attempts to use it on his captors. Discovering it is empty, Nique and Dr. Donner arrive to reveal the truth to Macon and once once more make their bid for his endorsement. One particular of the kidnappers, Burleigh, sees letting Macon reside as a “goddamn crime against humanity” (Mansbach 334), prior to declaring that Macon is no longer white. He then shoots Macon in the head, solidifying his martyrdom for a lead to that he seemingly abandoned in its time of greatest require.
Rumored to have been extinguished lengthy ago with slavery now being a relic of our nation’s blemished history and the Civil Rights movements becoming so successful, racial problems are typically disregarded in the aspect of their relevancy these days. Mansbach clearly challenges and properly supports the reality that this is not the case, as racist agenda nonetheless runs rampant throughout the nation, stampeding over those receiving the blunt of its baton. Macon’s pathos is established via his genuine and respectful appropriation of black culture, whilst several other figures establish credibility off of their own experiences, such as Jay-Z in “Coming of Age”, “chasin’ crackheads up the block for my pay” (Jay-Z 43) referencing his own life as a drug dealer. Relevant and unresolved, racism’s presence is transparently exposed all through the complete riveting plot in Angry Black White Boy.
Mansbach, Adam. Angry Black White Boy, Or, The Miscegenation of Macon Detornay: A Novel. 1st ed. New York: 3 Rivers, 2005. Print.
Jay-Z. Decoded. New York, NY: Spiegel & Grau, 2010. Print.
George, Nelson. Hip Hop America. New York: Viking, 1998. Print.
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