Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower

Most Americans are familiar with the image of the sassy, finger-wagging black woman: bold, pragmatic, unafraid to tell it like it is. But, writes Brittney Cooper, sass is often a polite cover for its more inflammatory cousin: rage. "Black women turn to sass when rage is too risky," Cooper explains, because "owning anger is a dangerous thing if you're a fat Black girl like me." In Eloquent Rage, Cooper articulates her fury at the ways American society has demeaned, dismissed and damaged black women, and urges her compatriots to keep up the fight. 

Inspired by and grounded in black feminist theorists such as bell hooks and Audre Lorde, Cooper (Beyond Respectability) takes a more conversational but no less intellectual approach. She shares her experience as a gifted black child (and wary friend of white girls), the joy she found among other blerds at Howard University and her struggle to build her academic career (and maybe even find love) while dealing with racism, sexism, self-doubt and survivor's guilt. Her subjects range from the politics of black haircare to the Black Lives Matter movement. Her icons include Michelle Obama, Beyoncé and her own straight-talking grandmother. "Black women's rage is a kind of power that America would do well to heed if it wants to finally live up to its stated democratic aims," Cooper insists. Her eloquent rage--both thoughtful and ferocious--calls on her fellow Americans of every color to join her in the furious, necessary struggle for a better world. --Katie Noah Gibson, blogger at Cakes, Tea and Dreams

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