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We Real Cool: Black Men and Masculinity

Black men are cool. But most books about black men miss the mark, making the same points-difficult childhood, white racism, poverty-they describe without meaningful explanation. bell hooks' brilliant new book We Real Cool: Black Men and Masculinity goes where everyone else has been unwilling to go. Without casting blame, hooks tells hard truths: black men are feared, admired, made the objects of sexual fantasy, envied, but rarely loved. Black men are hated, and hooks tells us why. In these critical essays, hooks examines what black males fear most (maternal sadism, loss, emasculation) and probes the depths of their longing for intimacy, for fathers, for meaningful relationships. Highlighting the value of a feminist approach to understanding black masculinity, hooks looks at the way patriarchal thought and action undermine black male self-esteem. With compassion and generosity, bell hooks contends that black men become loving individuals only as they accept full accountability for shaping their destiny. Taking as her starting point powerful writing on black masculinity from the sixties and seventies, bell hooks looks seriously at the problems black males face - both the ones not of their own making and the ones they create for themselves. In ten clear and provocative chapters, hooks offers a thorough examination of issues ranging from the trauma of childhood abandonment, parenting and black male violence, to work, education, sexuality, self-esteem, and spiritual recovery. We Real Cool offers a redemptive vision of black men and masculinity, one that is complex and multi-layered. This is the book that everyone seeking to understand black male identity must read.

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