Killing Rage: Ending Racism
By TRIBE Collective
One of our country's premier cultural and social critics, the author of such powerful and influential books as Ain't I a Woman and Black Looks, Bell Hooks has always maintained that eradicating racism and eradicating sexism must be achieved hand in hand. But whereas many women have been recognized for their writing on gender politics, the female voice has been all but locked out of the public discourse on race. Killing Rage speaks to this imbalance.
These twenty-three essays, most of them new works, are written from a black and feminist perspective, and they tackle the bitter difficulties of racism by envisioning a world without it. Hooks defiantly creates positive plans for the future rather than dwell in theories of a crisis beyond repair. The essays here address a spectrum of topics to do with race and racism in the United States: psychological trauma among African Americans; friendship between black women and white women; anti-Semitism and racism; internalized racism in the movies and media.
Hooks presents a challenge to the patriarchal family model, explaining how it perpetuates sexism and oppression in black life. She calls out the tendency of much of mainstream America to conflate "black rage" with murderous, pathological impulses, rather than seeing it as a positive state of being. And in the title essay she writes about the "killing rage" - the fierce anger of black people stung by repeated instances of everyday racism - finding in that rage a healing source of love and strength, and a catalyst for productive change.
Her analysis is rigorous and her language unsparingly critical, but Hooks writes with a common touch that has made her a favorite of readers far from universities.Bell Hooks's work contains multitudes; she is a feminist who includes and celebrates men, a critic of racism who is not separatist or Afrocentric, an academic who cares about popular culture.