Book Review: You Can’t Touch My Hair-And Other Things I Have to Explain by Phoebe Robinson


Phoebe Robinson, stand-up comic, one half of the popular podcast “2 Dope Queens” (with Jessica Williams) and all-around funny lady is back with her 2016 release You Can’t Touch My Hair-And Other Things I Have to Explain.*

You Can’t Touch My Hair is a collection of essays written in Robinson’s finely crafted wit and wisdom. She writes eloquently about race, politics, feminism, gender, pop culture and family. She’s not shy about sharing her experience as a black woman in the modern age and the feeling of rage of still having to deal with racism and sexism. But she’s also not afraid to take on white women who claim to be allies but aren’t.

Other topics Robinson writes about include her less than ideal experience in the workplace, her love of Lisa Bonet and the “white people music” of U2 (she has a total lady boner for the Edge), the importance of the Black Lives Matter. She calls out the NFL for their shitty behavior and in one essay she writes about what she expects from the first woman President.

But one of my favorite essays is her letter to her beloved niece Olivia on being biracial and a girl.

You Can’t Touch My Hair is an eye-opener for this white woman, a lesson I needed to learn.

But I never once felt lectured or nagged while reading this book. Reading Robinson’s excellent writing is like connecting with a good friend whether we are sharing our love of U2 or trading stories about our battles with sexism.

Robinson’s writing is heartfelt. smart, bawdy, and hilarious. I wish her nothing but continued success.

*Robinson’s second collection of essays Everything is Trash, but its Okay was published last year, and yes, you better believe it I’m going to read it once I get the chance.