Losing My Cool by Thomas Chatterton Williams

By • Jun 28th, 2010 • Category: Book Review 2010Email This Post Email This PostPrint This Post Print This Post

Losing My Cool by Thomas Chatterton Williams

Memoir

Amazon.com rating: 4

APOOO rating: 4

 Planting Seeds

 In Losing My Cool by Thomas Chatteron Williams, the author takes you on a journey through his life being a bi-racial individual.  Early on his mother, who is Caucasian, told him that despite being of mixed race, he would have to navigate the world as a black man.  This lesson assisted him in bypassing a few life struggles regarding race; one of them being not having to choose which race to emulate.  The world saw him as African American.  Williams’ father, who he affectionately called Pappy (or Babe during casual conversations), breathed books.  In doing so, Pappy struggled with motivating young Thomas to take advantage of reading, learning, and making opportunities for himself in the process.  While most kids were enjoying breaks from school, Williams was reviewing math and English curriculum created by Pappy.  The author admits the lessons were not as important as making Pappy proud of him.

Weaved between Pappy’s lessons was the pull of the streets and hip-hop culture.  Life out in the hood and among his peers was much different than the interior walls of his home. And even though there were times when Williams noticed a stark difference between street life and what he experienced at home, he often felt the need to perpetuate the myths of hip-hop culture to be accepted.  To quote the author:  “It was much easier to mime stereotypes than to invent ourselves as individuals.”   Educated by B.E.T on what it was to be black, Williams headed down a path that led him to question these stereotypes, himself, and his place in life.  It was not until he entered Georgetown University that he started seriously reevaluating the African-American experience and, much deeper, the human experience.  This journey caused him to reformulate his perspective on life, choices, racism, and cultural biases.  It also helped Williams develop a better understanding of Pappy’s decisions along with a deeper appreciation and admiration for his father.

Losing My Cool is an engaging read that will have readers questioning their own existence and experiences.  I appreciated the author being so open and felt that not only was this book about discussing his struggles with being bi-racial and trying to fit into the African-American world, it was a testament to good parenting and being true to oneself despite environmental influences. Readers who like inspirational and thought-provoking memoirs would enjoy Losing My Cool as well as people who continue to buy into the negative images of hip-hop culture as truth.

This book was provided by the publisher for review.

Darnetta Frazier

APOOO BookClub

Visit amazon to order a copy of Losing My Cool and to vote accordingly for Darnetta’s review.

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is an Ohio-born, spoken-word poet who has composed poetry since she was able to hold a laddie pencil. As reviewer for A Place Of Our Own (APOOO) and aspiring novelist, she dabbles in the literary scene from all perspectives. She has been published on www.thebacklist.net, interviewed on www.blogginginblack.com, and is currently submitting fiction manuscripts to publishers while juggling daughterhood, sisterhood, wifedom, parenthood, and of course, writing. Outside of family and all things literary, Darnetta overindulges in Hip-Hop, dabbles in computer graphic design, and creates handcrafted cards, candles, and jewelry.
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