We Real Cool
Black Men and Masculinity
By bell hooks
Routledge – 2004 – 184 pages
"When women get together and talk about men, the news is almost always bad news," writes bell hooks. "If the topic gets specific and the focus is on black men, the news is even worse."
In this powerful new book, bell hooks arrests our attention from the first page. Her title--We Real Cool; her subject--the way in which both white society and weak black leaders are failing black men and youth. Her subject is taboo: "this is a culture that does not love black males:" "they are not loved by white men, white women, black women, girls or boys. And especially, black men do not love themselves. How could they? How could they be expected to love, surrounded by so much envy, desire, and hate?"
"We Real Cool is a slim book, but it's fat (or phat) with ideas on how to encourage black men to be their real selves in the truest sense of the word." -- Karen Grigsby Bates, Ms. Winter
"I read the first page of the preface holding my nose because I am sick of listening to others tell me who I am. I am out of patience with being the topic of someone's ill-informed master's thesis, dissertation, newspaper feature and magazine article. As I read on, though, Hooks put me at ease with her insight, honesty and clear prose…hooks writes to bring attention to the crossroads at which the black male stands. On one side is his very survival and perhaps his redemption. On the other is his enduring marginalization and even extinction." -- Bill Maxwell, St. Petersburg Times
"The black American feminist writer-critic and social commentator bell hooks is strong meat. Take the way she spells her name, militantly lower case. She uses terms that can scare the horses: imperialist white-supremacist capitalist patriarchy. It can never be said of this writer that she doesn't set her shop-stall up right from the beginning. In her latest work, We Real Cool: Black Men and Masculinity, hooks states in the preface that these incendiary terms are her terms of reference." -- The Independent
bell hooks is one of our leading social and cultural critics. Among her more than twenty books is Salvation: Black People and Love and Rock My Soul: Black People and Self-Esteem. Four titles are published by Routledge: Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom, Outlaw Culture, Reel to Real, and Where We Stand: Class Matters.