From time to time I get an e-mail or a MySpace message from a stranger telling me that they enjoyed the book. This is the first time someone has taken the time out of their day to contact me expressing the opposite opinion. Today, I got this e-mail:
|XXXXXXX XXXXXX <firstname.lastname@example.org>||Fri, Feb 20, 2009 at 1:36 PM|
Let’s dive right in, shall we?
I stumbled upon your book Making Friends with Black People, the other day while browsing at the bookstore on the campus of Prairie View A&M University. I quickly asked the manager to pull your book of the shelves, or at least put them on the bottom shelf. I don’t believe in stifling free speech, but truly this type of “literature” shouldn’t be promoted, and doesn’t help our community as whole.
So you don’t believe in stifling free speech, but you want my book pulled from bookshelves. Do you believe in irony? The point of this type of literature-or any type-isn’t to “help our community.” The point of literature is to entertain the reader. If you’re looking for something to validate your self-worth, or uplift the race, I’d suggest that you don’t look toward the “non-fiction humor” category next time. Something from the T.D. Jakes catalog, perhaps?
I know the Lord as [sic] blessed you to have great financial gain from your book, but even still he allows corrupt politicians, liars and abortionist to keep their jobs as well. So lets not look at your sales as the work of the Lord.
Of course, you have no idea how much money I’ve made from the book. Also, you don’t know that the Lord had anything to do with it. You don’t even know that such a being has ever existed. I agree. Let’s not look at my sales as the work of the Lord. Let’s look at my sales as the work of a man who put his ideas on paper, an agent who found someone interested in publishing those ideas, and a publisher who thought that there might be an audience for such a book.
Also, corrupt politicians, liars and abortionists don’t exist because of the benevolence of any higher power. They exist for the following reasons: power corrupts, human nature, and the need and/or desire for women to terminate pregnancies. Since you clearly don’t have a fundamental understanding of the non-fiction humor genre, perhaps you also don’t comprehend how politics, lying and abortions work, either?
What were you truly trying to accomplish from this book? It’s a mockery of true literature.
Holy shit, you accidentally made a point! Kind of. Mockery is defined as “ridicule, contempt, or derision.” There are definitely aspects of traditional literature that are ridiculed in the book, so pat yourself on the back. It took you a few paragraphs and some creative thinking on my part, but you finally made a little bit of sense.
When one reads, one should be able to complete said works and see the contribution that it has in our society. I was left dumbfounded that one could pen such stupidity. And your editors, they allowed this? God help us.
When one reads, one should be able to complete said work and have been entertained by it. Period. That’s it. That’s the goal. Everything else is extra. And if you haven’t grasped it yet, God definitely isn’t going to help us. If he were, I’m sure he would have started by preventing me from getting this inane e-mail.
Mr. Adams, I respect your craft of being a comedian, but I do really seek to know that your intentions were with this book? It doesn’t’ help race relations and it only sets up back to what they expect from us.
If you’re this bewildered and pissed off by my book, I doubt very seriously that you’d respect my stand-up act. And if you still don’t understand what my intentions were by publishing a non-fiction humor book, I doubt that my explaining it to you again would help much.
I feel as though you have let down those before you such as James Baldwin, Richard Wright and others….
I pray that this is your last book of this type.
Baldwin and Wright were both true artists, and intellectual firebrands. As such, I’m sure they would relish a Black man with a decent grasp of the English language, a sense of humor, and a strong point of view putting his thoughts and ideas out into the literary ether to amuse and entertain. And even if they didn’t find my book clever or thought-provoking, they would have the common sense to understand that it wasn’t doing harm to the foundation of Black society.
I really hope you’re an incoming freshman. If not, Prairie View A&M University has failed you miserably.