“Most superheroes don’t know they’re superheroes until they get caught up in a moment, just like you. Something either overcomes them, showing them a glimpse of their hidden powers, or they’re pushed so far past their limitations that they have no choice by to succumb to whatever makes them special.”
“Life, like sales, comes with an endless amount of opportunities to do the wrong thing to win.”
What if Tyler Durden had been black instead of spreading mayhem he had been trying to teach selling skills to ambitious POC? That’s Black Buck.
The titular character, Darren AKA Buck goes from rags to riches by making two key sales in his career. One morning, he upsells a yuppy white a**hole an alternative caffeine vehicle at his Starbucks job and suddenly he’s thrust into a new career and ultimately new life. Initially, he is throttled by the impudence of a team of white sales robots who underestimate and belittle him because he is black. But over time, he begins to drink the sales Kool-Aid… and believe me, if you’ve ever worked in a high pressure sales organization, Askaripour nails the character of the over-driven sales douche to a T. He also accurately satirizes start-up culture with little nuance and it’s amazing. Buck’s second major sale comes at a vital time for the company and it thrusts him into the stratosphere of money and fame. After many accusations of becoming an Uncle Tom, he finds himself reluctantly shepherding other smart, ambitious POC on how to get what they want out of life trying to prove that being successful has nothing to do with race.
Along the journey you will grit your teeth with anger over the injustice both upon Buck and perpetrated by him. You will laugh and roll your eyes at the absurdity of the situations he finds himself in and those he puts others in. You will flush in shame as Buck forgets who he is, where he’s come from and who got him there; but you just might swell with pride at Buck’s evolution by the end… or will you?
Thanks to Netgalley for a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest opinion.
This coffee spread is my husband’s as I don’t like hot drinks and therefore have never tried coffee. What’s your go-to coffee order?