The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell: Tales of a 6’4″, African American, Heterosexual, Cisgender, Left-Leaning, Asthmatic, Black and Proud Blerd, Mama’s Boy, Dad, and Stand-Up Comedian.
Booklist Reviews 2017 April #1
Each chapter in political comedian Bell's book contains a look back at his "awkward" personal life and professional career, accompanied by "awkward thoughts" on subjects that relate to that stage in his autobiography. This approach can be, well, awkward, but it does provide a comprehensive look at what gave rise to Bell's insightful, critical eye and his hilarious comedy, including his CNN series, United Shades of America. A child of the Sesame Street and Schoolhouse Rock! television generation, Bell writes affectionately and knowledgeably about comic books and pop culture, especially media depictions of African Americans. He performs a thorough examination of the well-meaning if not exactly well-rounded black superheroes of the 1970s, and gives high praise to Doc McStuffins. Bell's career path runs from the traditional performing arts to stand-up comedy, cable TV shows, and on to new media with online-only podcasts. This mix of skills powers his upcoming projects, including season two of United Shades of America, which will appear on CNN's new online-only network, Great Big Story. For Bell's fans and all readers interested in African American culture. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.
LJ Reviews 2017 January #1
The host of CNN's Emmy-nominated
LJ Reviews 2017 April #2
Comedian and TV host Bell tells a candid story of being an outsider, a "weirdo with a weird name." This story involves the author moving frequently as a child: Boston, Indianapolis, Chicago, and Mobile, AL, to name a few places he lived. A constant, though, was Bell's passion for superheroes such as the Incredible Hulk and the films of Bruce Lee. Chapters offer musings on pop culture, such as Bell's podcast devoted to Denzel Washington and affection for the Rocky franchise. There are also meditations on race and racism, including reactions to his interracial marriage. But this is also a personal story of what the author perceives as his failure; being a college dropout and a struggling stand-up comedian. Bell draws in readers as he shares the winding path from his unsuccessful TV series Totally Biased to newfound victory with CNN's United Shades of America. Often asked what the best way is to work toward antiracism, Bell suggests not being afraid to talk about racism directly.