We Real Cool: Black Men and Masculinity (Bell Hooks)

"Black males who refuse categorisation are rare, for the price of visibility in the contemporary world of white supremacy is that black identity be defined in relation to the stereotype whether by embodying it or seeking to be other than it... negative stereotypes about the nature of black masculinity continue to overdetermine the identities black males are allowed to fashion for themselves."

"Black males who refuse categorisation are rare, for the price of visibility in the contemporary world of white supremacy is that black identity be defined in relation to the stereotype whether by embodying it or seeking to be other than it... negative stereotypes about the nature of black masculinity continue to overdetermine the identities black males are allowed to fashion for themselves."

U.S.A. / 2004

We Real Cool is a collection of ten essays by hooks that explore the complexities of Black masculinity in America. hooks takes a brave and holistic look at the ways in which Black Men are restricted by the harmful stereotypes imposed on them. She even goes back to slavery and traces its damaging legacy on the Black male psyche. I often think about the impact of reconciling with the fact that you were once subordinate slaves that could not carry out the classical hallmarks of masculinity - like caretaking, providing, and protecting. This book makes me think about how that woundedness has kind of forced Black Men to redefine their masculinity over time. This book has a lot of healing power, in my opinion. It really made me think about the men in my life and kind of come to terms with their behavior better. A must read, for sure.

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