To say Black Privilege:Opportunity Comes to Those Who Create It wasn’t compulsively readable, I’d be making the understatement of the century and I’ll gladly expound on that matter in this review.
My initial interest in Black Privilege was based on the current racial makeup this country is experiencing where more and more of the systemic “white privilege”, the black community has been speaking of, is proving to be true. With video footage of cops being Judge and Jury to people of color, the racist undertones that the current administration has said against President Obama during his tenure that blatantly ignored or chalked up to fake news… never mind all that. My point is that, I was captivated by the title Black Privilege because I wanted to understand what that meant.
Thankfully Charlamagne tha God doesn’t use this platform as a way to further the divide but rather to encourage anyone reading to use their “white privilege”, “black privilege”, or “gay privilege” to achieve their goals in life.
Now! I don’t listen to radio… usually ever and I don’t particularly listen to The Breakfast Club, the syndicated hip-hop radio show that Charlamagne co-hosts with Angela Yee and DJ Envy. Since I do listen to hip-hop and R&B, I’d have to be living under a rock not to know what Charlamagne tha God is. Plus, the infamous Birdman interview flooded my timeline for months. There wasn’t anyone I didn’t know who didn’t want “respeck” when you mentioned their name. So yes, Charlamange and company are a big part of hip-hop history and his voice is one of the strongest (and boldest) in the radio community.
Black Privilege: Opportunity Comes to Those Who Create It is a memoir/coming-of-age/cautionary/self-help book all rolled into one. Charlamange in his own words and voice, provides 8 nuggets of information that encourage the reader to live, speak, aspire to their truth. He found early in life that he was going to speak his mind and his opinion no matter what because it was his truth. And because of his often controversial stance and willingness to be heard he’s one of the most revered names in radio and the hip-hop community.
Larry Mckelvey, aka Charlamagne, uses his experiences as a youth in an effort to stand behind the nuggets of truth he drops. Charlamange explains that he could have been someone out there lost with no future where he “was caught up in building street cred during my teenage years. But fifteen years later, I can report there is not one major purchase I’ve even been able to make using it.”
I almost feel like that line nugget of truth should be required reading and reflection for the youth in Chicago that are terrorizing the city with unprecedented violence. He learned that thinking that the streets was where it’s at was only going to lead him to jail or death, or somewhere drunk under a tree.
Black Privilege also encourages the reader to find their truth and not everyone telling you a different route is being a hater. Many people need to hear Simon Cowell say their performance was the worse or that they just don’t have the skills to be a hoop star. Many people think the only success there is is what the media purports it to be. Not everyone one can be a Jay-Z or Beyoncé. Those roles are already taken. But, you could be the person that cures AIDS or cancer if you follow your truth and not someone else’s.
Honestly, as I read Black Privilege, I couldn’t help but Google some of the interviews he spoke of in this book and I think that’s what makes this title even more enjoyable to read. Like I mentioned, I wasn’t a fan nor a hater of Charlamagne. I had very limited information of who he is/was in the radio industry so to see that he wasn’t blowing steam up my ass was refreshing. There are so many memoir out there that have been proven to be fudged a little, I was more than excited that this wasn’t.
Really, I could go on and on about how much I enjoyed reading Black Privilege all day. There are tons of people (myself included) that need credit for the stupid things I’ve done as well as an overhaul in time management. Maybe I’m reading this book at the right time in my life where I’ve decided to go back to school (for the 3rd time) in an effort to “put the weed in the bag” and pursue a career. Either way it goes, Charlagmange is a very relevant voice that should be heard and this book, Black Privilege should be read. Yes it is vulgar and extremely jarring at times but really… could we expect anything less from the “Prince of Pissing People off”?