Thug Notes

Like Anna, I’m a bit embarrassed to make this next recommendation during Black History Month because while this is awesome and by black creators and celebrating black culture, it shouldn’t be restricted to just the one month. This isn’t just awesome within the context of black culture, it’s just plain awesome.

Thug Notes is a YouTube series of videos and it is AWESOME! And I really wish it had been available when I was in high school. These videos take classic books and, in about 5 minutes each, summarizes the plot and talks about the main literary analysis.

  • Great Expectations, which I slogged through in high school and just got entirely bogged down in the details, laid out nice and neat in 5 minutes.
  • Lord of the Flies, which I never managed to get past the first page of, broken down for me and presented.
  • Pride & Prejudice, which I have read way too many times and absolutely love, getting shown in a new light that I hadn’t noticed before.

What makes them particularly funny is that they’re all narrated by Sparky Sweets, PhD, coming at you from the Houston Rap subculture and he is keeping it real about what these homeboys of literature are up to, from a set straight out of Master Piece theater with all of its proper British overtones.

The implied culture clash is hilarious mostly because no clash is ever actually realized. As Jared Bauer, one of the creators, says:

The idea behind Thug Notes was always that ‘the joke is that there is no joke…’ because the analysis is just so accurate and so smart.

There are 64 of them (so far) and they are just brilliant. Go check them out!

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