The Washington Post

‘How To Be Black’ author Baratunde Thurston on interracial dating, classical music and racism

“How To Be Black” author Baratunde Thurston was scheduled to video chat with readers earlier today, but the chat was canceled due to technical difficulties.

Baratunde Thurston, author of “How To Be Black” Photo by Alexa Lee.

We’ve included some excerpts and the full audio after the jump.

Q: Are you single? How do you feel about interracial dating?

A: I am single and I feel about interracial dating the way I feel about human beings — some of them I like, some of them I don’t like.

I’m an open-minded person in an open-minded world, (hopefully increasingly) so I don’t know. Thank you, I suppose, I am flattered and slightly shy about this for some reason all of a sudden.

Q: Are you still in touch with classmates from Sidwell? Do you think your experience there, social and academic, helped smooth the way at Harvard?

Well, if you have finished reading the book you will have your question answered because I directly talk about how Sidwell was basically bootcamp for being deployed at Harvard. I like to use military language sometimes because it’s war, it’s a race war and we must prepare for the day of reckoning [chuckles]. I’m just tired. I’m just tired ...

Listen to the clip above to find out who he keeps in touch with from Sidwell Friends (hint: the spelling of the name of the author he recommends is Anand Giridharadas, how he feels about classical music and more­ and why perceived racism isn’t always racism.)

Bethonie Butler is a producer and a reporter on The Post’s engagement team. She oversees online comments and has also contributed to The Style Blog and She The People.


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