He Talk Like a White Boy: Reflections on Faith, Family, Politics, and Authenticity

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Actor and social commentator Joseph C. Phillips speaks powerfully about the topic of life as a conservative African-American actor, husband, father, and citizen. In today’s political climate, with race such an issue, this collection of essays is not only timely, but thought provoking.

Like Democratic candidate for President Barack Obama, Phillips has had his authenticity as a black man questioned by members of his own race, for trivial reasons such as the way he speaks, his ...

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He Talk Like a White Boy: Reflections of a Conservative Black Man on Faith, Family, Politics, and Authenticity

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Overview


Actor and social commentator Joseph C. Phillips speaks powerfully about the topic of life as a conservative African-American actor, husband, father, and citizen. In today’s political climate, with race such an issue, this collection of essays is not only timely, but thought provoking.

Like Democratic candidate for President Barack Obama, Phillips has had his authenticity as a black man questioned by members of his own race, for trivial reasons such as the way he speaks, his choices in music, politics, faith, and family. Also like Obama, Phillips has often been accused of not being “black enough,” while, as an actor, he has encountered even more pointing fingers for not being liberal enough. With a frank voice, this brilliant and outspoken author presents a series of witty and provocative essays that examine life as a conservative African-American, and the simple fact that authenticity is far more complicated than one’s choice of words.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Phillips is not your typical Republican: he's a television actor, a sometime stay-at-home dad-and a proud black man. At his best, riffing on the difficulties of not conforming to stereotypes in a nation that refuses to shed them, Phillips is thought provoking and moving. With a memoirist's eye for incident, he writes about sitting out eighth-grade pickup football games, caught between the team of white boys he'd grown up with and the team of black boys who complained he lived in "Honkyville." He's acute on the absurdity of racial perceptions, as when he gets scripts that call for "an African-American neurosurgeon with street smarts." But his political essays often read like blog entries, heavy on outrage and rhetoric (the latter sometimes snappy), and feather-light on nuance and evidence (the latter sometimes dubious). They may draw cheers from those who share his faith in G.W. Bush, but won't persuade those who don't. Phillips's opinions (e.g., on faith, character and the pitfalls of affirmative action) may be the driving force behind his writing, but it's his lived experience that is likely to persuade readers of all colors-black, white, red or blue-that he has something to say. (May) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Best known for his role as Lt. Martin Kendall on The Cosby Show, conservative actor Phillips is a lecturer and social commentator who writes a weekly column that appears in various newspapers. His use of proper English, rather than language from the 'hood, earned him a certain reputation; it was said that "he talk like a white boy." In these essays, divided into five thematic sections-"Character," "Family," "Faith," "Idealism," and "Identity"-he pays homage to famous black men like Paul Robeson and Martin Luther King, speaks of his love for cowboys and Westerns, remembers his mother's suicide, comments on women and feminism, gives his thoughts on parenting and marriage, shares his religious beliefs (he's a Christian), bashes Hollywood liberals like Dustin Hoffman and Alec Baldwin for their outspokenness on President Bush and the Iraq War, and expresses anger at Hollywood generally for its racism when it comes to casting black actors. Phillips is an excellent and perceptive writer, driving home his points with wit and wisdom, but it's unlikely that he'll convert any of his detractors. Recommended primarily for conservative readers and fans of the author.-Ann Burns, Library Journal Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780762435562
  • Publisher: Running Press Book Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/5/2009
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author


Joseph C. Phillips is an actor, writer, lecturer, and social commentator best known for his role on The Cosby Show as the character Denise’s (Lisa Bonet) husband, Lt. Martin Kendall. As a social commentator, Joseph’s writing has appeared in Newsweek, Los Angeles Daily News, Essence, Upscale, USA Today, and more. He writes a weekly syndicated column, “The Way I See It,” and lives in Los Angeles with his wife and three children. Please visit him at www.josephcphillips.com.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 15, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Thanks for being a great Role Model!!

    Mr. Phillips bears his soul and delivers a complete analysis of what it is like being black and unique. when you hear Mr. Phillips talk, you know he is proud to be black. He is also proud to be an american and refuses to pick one over the other. Although I don't agree with many of his political views, and I also would have never walked that White Girl to the office. (Read the book to find out what I am talking about) I do agree with Mr. Phillips on a core number of issues, mainly the value of a good education and not being a victim. I think more Black people should value people like Mr. Phillips. He is intelligent and represents his family and race in a fine manner. I don't think White people should have the market cornered on proper speech and intelligence. I have to fight with my family members on not thinking with a small mind when it comes to education. Why should kids admire those who are pimping their race for money. Why not admire people like Mr. Phillips who is grounded in many positive attributes. You don't have to agree with a person to admire their qualities. Even though Mr. Phillips is a conservative, he has not adopted the attitude of many conservatives with respect to looking down on those less fortunate than himself. I enjoyed reading this book, because it gives me a fresh perspective and new ways of looking at things. Thanks for writing a riveting piece of literature!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2006

    A Message that I can relate with.

    Reading this was almost a reflection of my upbringing. It's very challenging to grow up being considered different because your educated, or you speak different, or your viewpoint is uncommon. The reflections from this book could benefit any African-American whose going through similiar situations.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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