Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Boy by Emmanuel Acho is an adaptation of Acho’s original title, Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man. I have not read the adult title, but wanted to read the middle grade/young adult title as I work with children. I do think this one reads more young adult, but either way it is a very good book that I think would function well as a companion to Stamped – either the YA or middle grade version. (Look out for my review of the middle grade version soon!)

Note: This post contains affiliate links. When you click on and/or purchase from some links, I make a portion of the sale. This helps keep Bitch Bookshelf running.

Find out more about how I review books here.

The summary, from Amazon:

Adapted from Emmanuel Acho’s New York Times bestseller Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man, comes an essential young readers edition aimed at opening a dialogue about systemic racism with our youngest generation.

Young people have the power to affect sweeping change, and the key to mending the racial divide in America lies in giving them the tools to ask honest questions and take in the difficult answers.

Approaching every awkward, taboo, and uncomfortable question with openness and patience, Emmanuel Acho connects his own experience with race and racism―from attending majority-white prep schools to his time in the NFL playing on majority-black football teams―to insightful lessons in black history and black culture.
Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Boy is just one way young readers can begin to short circuit racism within their own lives and communities.

Buy Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Boy here.
You can also read the original version, Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man.

Uncomfortable Conversations is a very up-to-date book with plenty of references to 2020 and even 2021. I greatly enjoyed the “Talk It, Walk It” heading at the end of each chapter. These sections contained next steps and calls to action. I definitely think the resources, books, and movie recommendations shared here were often more appropriate for teens rather than children.
Acho shares a lot of solid information as well as stories from his own life and the lives of his friends and colleagues. Of course, I (almost) always have love for any former Philadelphia Eagle. A takeaway I had from this book was stated best in Acho’s own words: “Ending racism is not a finish line that we will cross. It’s a road we’ll travel.”
I’ve read some criticisms of Uncomfortable Conversations on Goodreads and I totally understand them. For instance, many folks don’t like the plethora of books on racism geared towards white people. I do think this book could appeal to anyone, not just white folks, but I think that is a very valid point. For me, this was a 5 star read, but I understand why it won’t be perfect for every reader.

Find out more about how I rate books here.

Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black BoyUncomfortable Conversations with a Black Boy by Emmanuel Acho
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I haven’t read the original, but I loved this adaptation. Definitely geared more towards YA. Much love for a former Philadelphia Eagle!

That being said, while I enjoyed it and see it as a useful read for kids, I understand the criticisms I see in others’ reviews.

View all my reviews

Book Club Questions

  1. Have you taken any of the next steps from the “Talk It, Walk It” sections of this book? What were they?
  2. What did you learn from Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Boy?
  3. Have you read the adult version of Uncomfortable Conversations? How did it compare?
  4. How do you think Acho’s experience as an NFL player might affect his view and the ability he has to express it?
  5. Do we need more books about race and racism geared towards white readers?

Interested? Buy Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Boy.
And don’t forget to add me as a friend on Goodreads!