Thoughts: The Black Guy Dies First by Robin R. Means Coleman, Mark H. Harris

Source: NetGalley – Thank you to the publisher!
TL;DR: An absolutely fascinating and funny collection on essays that explore roles, trends, and stereotypes for black actors in horror

Essays: Every essay was interesting, though occasionally bogged down with walls of text examples. I also felt two of the later essays could have come earlier – overall though an A+ collection for m!


The Black Guy Dies First has got to be one of the funnier non-fiction books I’ve read in a while. With a topic as real and as serious as it has, I didn’t expect to be laughing out loud as much as I was. This follows the trends, roles, and stereotypes of black actors/actresses in America, with some touches on films outside the states.

I went into this as a horror newbie, so take my review with that in mind. That being said, I found this incredibly readable. Since this covers films from 1967 to 2020 I was incredibly impressed at how well it explained and showed me the important points with bogging down the overall structure in needless details. There were fun asides with lists such as the Worst Songs in horror movies or the most deaths by a single actor, which helped to keep the book from being dry as well.

Each essay is covers a different topic and has the examples and sources to back it up. I found myself googling and looking at clips and images for things I’d never heard up or for things I’d heard of but never seen the source material. The research and time that went into was impressive.

Overall, for a topic I’m very much a newbie on, this felt well done and welcoming. My only tiny complaint is that the essays felt a little out of order, with a few of the latter ones better suited to the beginning of the book. That aside I highly recommend this for beginner and experience fans of the genre and topic alike!

4 out of 5 smudged movie tickets


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