Tracy Morgan writes a book — that’s crazy!

The “30 Rock” madman has penned an autobiography entitled “I Am the New Black.”

PHOTO COURTESY SPIEGEL & GRAU

PHOTO COURTESY SPIEGEL & GRAU

Tony Libera

âÄúI Am the New BlackâÄù AUTHOR: Tracy Morgan with Anthony Bozza PUBLISHER: Spiegel & Grau PAGES: 224 pages PRICE: $25 Tracy Morgan was hardly a big-time player when he joined the cast of NBCâÄôs âÄú30 Rock âÄù in 2006. He had found minor success with a recurring role on âÄúMartinâÄù and then transitioned to âÄúSaturday Night Live. âÄù There he created some of the most bizarre characters in the showâÄôs history âÄî from the forthright space-womanizer Astronaut Jones to the insane, gay, unlicensed zoologist Brian Fellow âÄî and had a shot at primetime with a short-lived sitcom bearing his name. But it wasnâÄôt until he unleashed the character of Tracy Jordan on Tina FeyâÄôs brainchild âÄú30 RockâÄù that he became a star. Now, with a name riding the cusp of household status and a 2009 Emmy nod in his pocket, Morgan has released a frank and funny autobiography entitled âÄúI Am the New Black.âÄù On the cover of the book, Morgan stands in a white suit, no shirt underneath, a smirk across his face and bunny ears crowning his head. ItâÄôs obvious from the brazen picture that the title is a joke âÄî sort of. Like the man himself, the title is ridiculous at first glance but surprisingly deep on inspection. Morgan isnâÄôt content with offering a few laughs and detailing the facts of his life; he wants to make a point. âÄúBeing the new black means you can get there if you try. No more excuses,âÄù he states. âÄúIf your life is hard, you gotta start laughing so you donâÄôt cry, and youâÄôve gotta try or youâÄôll get nothing.âÄù ItâÄôs hard to believe these words came from the same man who says, âÄúI have friends who are animals and a few who I believe to be robots.âÄù It shouldnâÄôt be a surprise that Morgan is complex, but he so rarely drops the funnyman routine that it becomes easy to forget that thereâÄôs a real person underneath the goofy face and doughy physique. HeâÄôs still funny, but itâÄôs the insight into MorganâÄôs psyche that has the biggest draw. Morgan is candid too, describing the most intimate parts of his life without any hesitation. The book highlights the expected moments âÄî the stress and excitement of âÄúSNL,âÄù his success on âÄú30 RockâÄù âÄî but also sheds light on the darker times: his familial estrangements, the DUIs, his struggle with diabetes, the deaths of his friends and his fatherâÄôs addiction to heroin following the Vietnam War. The writing wonâÄôt win Morgan a Pulitzer, but itâÄôs fluid and highly personable and written in an oral style that allows readers to shed any preconceived notions and understand the man behind the wild act. In the end, the book makes the autobiography grade by dealing in honesty. âÄúI Am the New BlackâÄù is not a glorified account of MorganâÄôs rise to fame, devoid of wrongdoing or the dejection of failure. Morgan simply provides the truth, be it sincere, funny, manic, arrogant, depressing, humble or nonsensical, and he isnâÄôt afraid to contradict.