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Tajh Henderson

English 113B
The Angry Black White Boy
The novel Angry Black White Boy is a novel made up of many different racial issues
and self-identity issues. Macon Detornay, which is the protagonist in the novel, is a Caucasian
male with a different intellect and viewpoint than the people of his community and racial group.
Macon is a strong supporter of African American rights and disagrees with the historical events
that involved African Americans and disagrees with the way people of color are treated in
present day. Macon describes himself as being the ultimate Down White boy. He portrays
himself as being an African American and does things to try fit in with the black community.
Within the novel Macon is determined to make things right for the black community. Hes
influenced by the historic icon Malcolm X and uses his teachings to empower his own actions as
an activist. In the novel Angry Black White Boy the author provides an insight on racism,
racial stereotypes, and uses Malcolm X as a major influence to the main character Macon.
Although Macon stood up for African Americans and used Malcolm X as his inspiration, his
actions caused stereotypes, and racial profiling from the Caucasian community.
Racism along with stereotyping are two of the key components that sums up this novel.
Throughout the novel Macon experienced racism and saw examples of racial profiling even
though he was part of the Caucasian community. Racism is the belief that all members of each
race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as
inferior or superior to another race or races. Macon describes himself as being the ultimate

Down White boy which in his opinion is an amazing thing but it does nothing but cause
conflict within himself and the community. What Macon doesnt understand is that he too
stereotypes the black community when he lists his personality traits and what his hobbies are.
African Americans present day are perceived as being ghetto, uncouth thieves, without class who
belong in jail because they do nothing but wrong. In the novel, the black community is
perceived as being nothing different than what they are made out to be in reality. The racial
stereotypes in this novel are used in every way right down to the context of the book. This book
is told from a thrird person point of view, but the way Macon speaks and the lingo he uses is a
stereotype of how all African Americans speak. The stereotypes in this book are both subverted
and exaggerated. What other racial groups fail to realize is that the African American community
has been backed into a wall for hundreds of years. The way they speak and the things they do are
the norms within their culture, present day and within the novel. The stereotypes are mostly
subverted. There is an unexplainable, abnormal, undermined connection in the way the black
community connects with the things they do, and in the novel Macon feels like he understands
that connection and tries to fit in and be a part of it. There is minor exaggeration related to the
stereotypes within the novel also. For example, Macon only experienced stereotypes because of
the way he comes off. His personality is exaggerated due to the fact that hes trying to apart of
the black community. One of Macons influences is hip hop. Hip hop or rap music can
sometimes focus on one subject and explain a story, Macon takes from the stories he listens to
and then ties it within his own personality which results in him acting out and reciting what he
hears and that only adds to the stereotypes. The author wrote he turned the music up, digging
the unity of place and soundscape, relishing not just his understanding of each line of Rakims
verse, but the fact that he could scarcely remember a time when he hadnt known this shit (16).

Malcolm X is Macons inspiration for many of his actions committed throughout the
novel. Malcolm X, born as Malcolm Little was a civil rights activist for the African American
people. Due to a troubled past Malcolm X spent time in jail, but he soon turned his life around
for the better once he converted to the nation of Islam and started following the teachings of the
honorable Elijah Muhammad. He remains a historical iconic figure in the African American
community. In the novel Macon is influenced by the story of Malcolm x and makes the decision
to become an activist for the black community. He constructs a plan and then begins robbing
white passengers in his taxicab job. Once a manhunt for the slick robber was set out, everyone
assumed it was a black man committing these crimes. After the true identity of the robber was
revealed to be Macon, it shocked the community and sparked new speculations in the Caucasian
community. Macon took the new found spotlight and used it to express his feelings towards the
Caucasian community. Similar to Malcolm X, Macon launches a plan of action which he called
The Race Traitor Project. Macon took the safe route and used civil disobedience to get his
viewpoints out into the public. Civil disobedience is the active, professed refusal to obey certain
laws, demands, and commands of a government, or of an occupying international power.
Malcolm X didnt believe in civil disobedience, he believed in fighting fire with fire. Malcolm X
was dealing with different circumstances in his time of being a civil rights activist. Malcolm X
was fighting for an entire culture and race. The things Malcolm X fought for were on a larger
scale and fought for a race worldwide. Macon fought for his own beliefs when it came to the
African American community. Macon and Malcolm X took two completely different routes when
it came the way they went about situations. Macon participated in many illegal activities in his
fight for African American rights while Malcolm X used a different form of civil disobedience
but rarely broke any major laws. For Malcolm X, as an African American, he is identified as a

Muslim and the most of his teachings and ideas derive from the nation of Islam. Macon uses
violent criminal way to revenge to whites and initiates the Day of Apology to let white racial
group to apologize to black racial group without deep consideration. However, Malcolm X used
inspiring preaching and established organizations which turned out to be a reliable way to fight
for the equality for blacks. Moreover, their respective results are very different. Macon is
transformed into the victim of cultural miscegenation and is not accepted by blacks and be hated
by whites. In contrast, Malcolm X became the historic iconic civil rights activist as well as the
permanent black spiritual leader who strongly influenced African American history. This shows
that the two are very distinct in race, ideology, behavior.
This novel also gives examples of self-identity issues and hybrid personalities and
identities. Throughout the novel Macon struggles with his physical color-represent. He cant
seem to except his natural race and he strives to be of the African American descent. After the
Rodney King incident took place Macon took it just as personal as the people in the black
community. Macon feels as if people of the Caucasian community should be punished for their
privilege and injustice which brought upon his idea for the day of apology. The funny thing is,
though, who am I exposing White people to? It aint news to Black folks that Whites are still
racist. I guess Im exposing White people to themselves. Weve gotten so good at pretending
were not racist that weve started to believe it (Mansbach 141). Macon is aware of the crimes
committed by white people but cant change the situation nor get accepted into the black
community. In the novel there is a publishing within the New York Times website. Nathaniel
claims that Macon first becomes aware of these ugly truths on the day of the Los Angeles riots
following the acquittal of the officers charged in the assault on Rodney King. The pre-adolescent
Macon, enraged by the verdict, storms out of his house determined to "make his contribution to

the struggle by providing whites for the stomping." But since there aren't any black people within
miles who would protest with him he then tries to start his own riot. He proceeded to make his
way to a commercial district and throws a flaming trash can through the windshield of a parked
police car. He then watched the car burn down to ash but his plan to construct a riot was failing
right in front of his eyes. The actions of Macon shows that he has officially rejected his white
culture and has chosen to embrace his want for acceptance into the black community.