Review: How to Make White People Laugh

How to Make White People Laugh How to Make White People Laugh by Negin Farsad
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Farsad's is a charming and delightful memoir and commentary on race/ethnicity, American culture, humor, and what it means to be an Iranian-American in a (Islamaphobic-poorly-disguised-as-obsessed-with-radical-Islam-terrorism) US culture. Her anecdotes and experiences offer insight into how she and others experience being marginalized as terrorists or somehow, having to explain all 2 billion Muslims in the world. She also shares some of the origins of her activism around better informing and explaining how she uses comedy to loosen barriers between herself, white folks, among others, and the intersection of her identities. She has two TED Talks that are definitely good introductions to the book and if you find them enjoyable or bemusing, then this book is likely to hit the mark. In particular, Farsad's ability to verbally disarm without necessarily attacking helps to present her message and a keen understanding of how life is different for nonwhite Americans in the US. If you are looking for a book to dip your toe in your help others get more comfortable with understanding the role of nonwhite and marginalized people in the US, this would be a great start to that conversation.

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