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“Black Buck” by Mateo Askaripour

RFM team members share a book they’ve enjoyed.

Explore corporate America from a perspective you might not know you would appreciate. 

Mateo Askaripour’s debut novel Black Buck follows the path of Darren, a 20-something Brooklyn resident, devoted son, boyfriend, and Starbucks manager. The valedictorian of one of New York’s best high schools, Darren is thriving at his café when he is plucked out of his green apron by the CEO of a major tech startup who invites him to join his sales team in a shiny office high above the Starbucks. Upon his arrival, there were a million ways it was evident that Darren was the only Black employee, and this is where the author’s smart and sometimes over-the-top satirical way with words shines.

This fresh and raw glimpse into many of today’s real challenges takes a biting and sometimes humorous look at racism in the workforce and provides dark comic relief to what we all know is a not-at-all funny topic. Askaripour says he meant for this book to serve as an instruction manual for Black people entering the sales industry, and it shows.

You’ll laugh one moment and want to cry the next as you watch Darren rise, fall, lose himself and others he cares about, then find himself again. The ending is one you won’t see coming and has been met with mixed reviews from the author’s many newfound fans.

A “Read with Jenna” Today show book club pick, I hope you enjoy Black Buck as much as I did.

Margaret Thompson never thought she’d be a business owner (or a mom for that matter!), but after realizing a need for a high quality, content-focused magazine for Richmond area families, she dove in! Mom of two boys, Margaret and her husband Chris live in Hanover County.
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