Karamo My story of embracing purpose, healing, and hope

Karamo Brown

Book - 2019

"An insightful, candid, and inspiring memoir from Karamo Brown--Queer Eye's beloved culture expert--as he shares his story for the first time, exploring how the challenges in his own life have allowed him to forever transform the lives of those in need"--

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BIOGRAPHY/Brown, Karamo
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Subjects
Published
New York : Gallery Books 2019.
Edition
First Gallery Books hardcover edition
Language
English
Physical Description
289 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
ISBN
9781982111977
1982111976
9781982111984
1982111984
Main Author
Karamo Brown (author)
Other Authors
Jancee Dunn (author)
  • What's in a name?
  • The pain of colorism
  • God is love
  • Overcoming the legacy of abuse
  • A dream deferred
  • Fatherhood
  • Hopes for the future
  • Queer eye.
Review by Booklist Reviews

As the culture expert, or psychotherapist/life coach/emotional mentor, on Netflix's überpopular Queer Eye reboot, Brown helps the show's subjects connect with their interior selves while his colleagues in the Fab Five work on their more outward ones. His watershed casting on Queer Eye came from a lifetime spent deciphering his own dreams, from when he first revered talk-show hosts like RuPaul, Oprah, and Phil Donahue as a young teen. Starting his memoir with the story of the name his father insisted on for him, and which translates to Educated Rebel, Brown is candid and warm in all the ways his fans will expect. He relates a childhood filled with both love and trauma, his journey through anger problems and addiction, the stops and starts in creating a career that fit, and his unexpected path to fatherhood. Even his story's happy ending, a hit show and an upcoming wedding, is addressed with introspection. Brown states his passion for helping others find the language to communicate their emotions; readers will appreciate his openheartedness in sharing his own. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

These days, Brown is best known as one of the Fab Five on Netflix's Queer Eye. In this debut, he shares what life was like before the cameras started rolling. Beginning with the struggle of learning to love his name, Brown chronicles his journey of identity and black masculinity—the story of his Jamaican Cuban heritage and the pressure to succeed in a family of immigrants. From his childhood in Houston to his college years at Florida A&M, he's refreshingly honest about experiencing complex childhood trauma as the result of emotional and physical abuse, and living with a dad who wasn't always the best role model. Brown touches on racism and colorism in the gay community, homophobia in the church, and abuse in LGBTQ+ relationships. Before being cast on Queer Eye, Brown was a social worker in Los Angeles and later appeared on The Real World. His social worker background shines when he discusses his wavering self-confidence amid drug addiction and, ultimately, learning to focus on his emotional and mental health. Heartwarming chapters about his partner Ian Jordan and sons Jason and Christian round out the book. VERDICT Fans will flock to this sincere memoir and its thoughtful advice.—Stephanie Sendaula, Library Journal Copyright 2019 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

In this often passionate, insightful memoir, Brown, known for his reality TV roles on The Real World and Queer Eye, shines a revealing light on addiction, race, and desire. Born in 1980 in Houston, Tex., he was the only son of a Jamaican-Cuban immigrant family and proud of his Rastafarian father, who gave him the Swahili name Karamo, meaning "educated rebel." Sometimes the name caused Brown embarrassment, but it fostered an inner strength in grade school, he writes, and as an undergraduate at Florida A&M, a historically black college. His pioneering appearance as the first openly gay black man on MTV's The Real World put all of his flaws on view, and led him to confront his drug use, excessive partying, drinking, and depression. Brown's role as Queer Eye's fiery culture expert allowed him to comment openly about racism and sexual stereotypes as he found happiness as the single father of two boys and, later, in a committed relationship. "We must find ways to move the needle on success and love," Brown notes in the clear-eyed writing and encouraging tone that permeates his narrative. This is a powerful story of a young, gay black man's fight to gain self-empowerment and healing. (Mar.) Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Queer Eye’s beloved culture expert shares his story for the first time, exploring how the challenges in his own life have allowed him to forever transform the lives of those in need. 125,000 first printing. TV tie-in. Illustrations.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

"An insightful, candid, and inspiring memoir from Karamo Brown--Queer Eye's beloved culture expert--as he shares his story for the first time, exploring how the challenges in his own life have allowed him to forever transform the lives of those in need"--

Review by Publisher Summary 3

The culture expert from Netflix's "Queer Eye" shares his story, exploring how the challenges in his own life have allowed him to transform the lives of those in need.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

An insightful, candid, and inspiring memoir from Karamo Brown'Queer Eye's beloved culture expert'as he shares his story for the first time, exploring how the challenges in his own life have allowed him to forever transform the lives of those in need.When Karamo Brown first auditioned for the casting directors of Netflix's Queer Eye, he knew he wouldn't win the role of culture expert by discussing art and theater. Instead he decided to redefine what 'culture' could'and should'mean for the show. He took a risk and declared, 'I am culture." Karamo believes that culture is so much more than art museums and the ballet'it's how people feel about themselves and others, how they relate to the world around them, and how their shared labels, burdens, and experiences affect their daily lives in ways both subtle and profound. Seen through this lens, Karamo is culture: his family is Jamaican and Cuban; he was raised in the South in predominantly white neighborhoods and attended an HBCU (Historically Black College/University); he was trained as a social worker and psychotherapist; he overcame personal issues of colorism, physical and emotional abuse, alcohol and drug addiction, and public infamy; he is a proud and dedicated gay single father of two boys, one biological and one adopted. It is by discussing deep subjects like these, he feels, that the makeovers on the show can attain their full, lasting meaning. Styling your hair and getting new clothes and furniture are important, but it's imperative that you figure out why you haven't done so in twenty years so you can truly change your life. In this eye-opening and moving memoir, Karamo reflects on his lifelong education. It comprises every adversity he has overcome, as well as the lessons he has learned along the way. It is only by exploring our difficulties and having the hard conversations'with ourselves and one another'that we are able to adjust our mind-sets, heal emotionally, and move forward to live our best lives.Karamo shows us the way.

Review by Publisher Summary 5

An insightful, candid, and inspiring memoir from Karamo Brown—Queer Eye’s beloved culture expert—as he shares his story for the first time, exploring how the challenges in his own life have allowed him to forever transform the lives of those in need.When Karamo Brown first auditioned for the casting directors of Netflix’s Queer Eye, he knew he wouldn’t win the role of culture expert by discussing art and theater. Instead he decided to redefine what “culture” could—and should—mean for the show. He took a risk and declared, “I am culture.” Karamo believes that culture is so much more than art museums and the ballet—it’s how people feel about themselves and others, how they relate to the world around them, and how their shared labels, burdens, and experiences affect their daily lives in ways both subtle and profound. Seen through this lens, Karamo is culture: his family is Jamaican and Cuban; he was raised in the South in predominantly white neighborhoods and attended an HBCU (Historically Black College/University); he was trained as a social worker and psychotherapist; he overcame personal issues of colorism, physical and emotional abuse, alcohol and drug addiction, and public infamy; he is a proud and dedicated gay single father of two boys, one biological and one adopted. It is by discussing deep subjects like these, he feels, that the makeovers on the show can attain their full, lasting meaning. Styling your hair and getting new clothes and furniture are important, but it’s imperative that you figure out why you haven’t done so in twenty years so you can truly change your life. In this eye-opening and moving memoir, Karamo reflects on his lifelong education. It comprises every adversity he has overcome, as well as the lessons he has learned along the way. It is only by exploring our difficulties and having the hard conversations—with ourselves and one another—that we are able to adjust our mind-sets, heal emotionally, and move forward to live our best lives.Karamo shows us the way.