You Can't Touch My Hair

You Can't Touch My Hair

And Other Things I Still Have to Explain

Book - 2016
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Penguin Putnam
A NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER • “A must-read...Phoebe Robinson discusses race and feminism in such a funny, real, and specific way, it penetrates your brain and stays with you.”—Ilana Glazer, co-creator and co-star of Broad City

A hilarious and timely essay collection about race, gender, and pop culture from comedy superstar and 2 Dope Queens podcaster Phoebe Robinson

Being a black woman in America means contending with old prejudices and fresh absurdities every day. Comedian Phoebe Robinson has experienced her fair share over the years: she's been unceremoniously relegated to the role of “the black friend,” as if she is somehow the authority on all things racial; she's been questioned about her love of U2 and Billy Joel (“isn’t that...white people music?”); she's been called “uppity” for having an opinion in the workplace; she's been followed around stores by security guards; and yes, people do ask her whether they can touch her hair all. the. time. Now, she's ready to take these topics to the page—and she’s going to make you laugh as she’s doing it.

Using her trademark wit alongside pop-culture references galore, Robinson explores everything from why Lisa Bonet is “Queen. Bae. Jesus,” to breaking down the terrible nature of casting calls, to giving her less-than-traditional advice to the future female president, and demanding that the NFL clean up its act, all told in the same conversational voice that launched her podcast, 2 Dope Queens, to the top spot on iTunes. As personal as it is political, You Can't Touch My Hair examines our cultural climate and skewers our biases with humor and heart, announcing Robinson as a writer on the rise.

One of Glamour's “Top 10 Books of 2016”

Baker & Taylor
The stand-up comedian and WNYC podcaster offers humorous, poignant essays describing her experience as a black woman in modern America on topics such as how she’s been questioned on her love of Billy Joel and U2 and why you can’t touch her hair. Original.

& Taylor

Offers humorous, poignant essays describing her experience as a black woman in modern America, covering such topics as how she's been questioned over her love of U2 and why you can't touch her hair.

Publisher: New York, New York :, Plume Book,, [2016]
ISBN: 9780143129202
Branch Call Number: 792.76092 ROB
Characteristics: 285 pages ;,21 cm
Alternative Title: You can not touch my hair


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OPL_MichelleC Jan 17, 2019

Robinson brings up some really important and timely topics in a truthful, but humorous way. She writes honestly about her views and opens up about her own experiences. Laugh out loud funny and completely thought-provoking. I learned SO much.

Jun 08, 2018

Where has this book been all my life?!!?! Racist microaggressions, avoiding being the Angry Black Woman, feminism, being a woman in the comedy field, etc. etc. Every teenage Black girl should read this book. It perfectly summarizes what Black women go through each and every day tightroping and determining which racist act is worth the fight. AMAZING!!!!!!

Jun 29, 2017

I really like reading about nerdy women - it makes me realize more and more that I'm not alone or weird. I appreciated a lot of the pop-culture references, though there were some I didn't get. I also enjoyed her insight into racism and her personal experiences of oppression.

Would DEFINITELY recommend reading this book for the geekery, humor, and for non-black who want to educate themselves more on the struggles of black women.

MomoT Mar 09, 2017

Phoebe Robinson made a fan out of me within about three pages. She's wickedly funny, scathing and more than a little bit goofy while tackling pretty important issues like racism and sexism. I learned a lot about African American hair from this as well as what sexism looks like to a female comedian. I LOVED this book (even though I cannot fathom why she put The Edge at the top of her "which order I would have sex with the members of U2 in" list. The Edge. REALLY?). It's a humorous mixture of pop culture, social awareness and general badassery. Highly recommended.

Jan 10, 2017

As a white male, I feel the least I can do right now in this fraught political moment is try to understand other points of view (And, no I don't really care about understanding Trump voters.), particularly those of women and minorities. The last few years have seen a flood of books dealing with both and Phoebe Robinson's collection of essays can sit on the shelf with books like "Shrill," "Bad Feminist," and "Sex Object." Robinson, who hosts "2 Dope Queens" with Jessica Williams, deals mostly with race and gender in a way that is both funny and heartfelt. She's much younger than I am, so I don't always get her references or writing style, but it's a book that tackles important issues and gives you a much-needed perspective on these issues.

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folake Aug 21, 2017

folake thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 17 and 24


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