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Writing Beyond Race: Living Theory and Practice

4.23  ·  Rating Details ·  113 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
What are the conditions needed for folks to bridge cultural and racial divides? In 'Writing Beyond Race', noted cultural critic Bell Hooks attempts to model the constructive ways scholars, activists, and readers can challenge and change systems of domination.
Hardcover, 199 pages
Published October 25th 2012 by Routledge (first published January 1st 2012)
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Read in February, had been too overwhelmed by life for Goodreads, but bell hooks is amazing.

Wow, wow, wow. This was done so right. So clear, engaging, and passionate. So smart. A great tool for understanding how white supremacist imperialist capitalist patriarchy works on and oppresses everyone (though not equally—certainly some individuals more than others), and that we cannot overlook the interconnectedness of this oppressive system with everything around us. If we want to take one form of opp
Ron Nie
Dec 20, 2014 Ron Nie rated it really liked it
Shelves: holidays-2014
hooks does critical cultural studies so so right. She's accessible and passionate and wicked smart. Her review of the Help was my favourite part of this book - she takes down the film for the ways it purports to deconstruct class and race relations, yet just reinscribes the same harmful social tropes we've all come to expect: the ending as continued segregation across race lines, cat fights and an inability for women to display partnership and sisterhood, and more.

She also does a particularly g
Jan 05, 2016 Fleur rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015, theory
I think I am in love with hooks, who is so badassly smart! I love how she shows the interconnectedness of race, gender and class. And how she provides a space where people of any color can communicate and work together. This book has moved me and I think I will take it with me for the rest of my life. I cannot wait to read more books by the author.
Aug 03, 2013 Diana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was really two books in one, with essays about thinking beyond race, fighting white supremacy through critical awareness, and bell hooks' experience disseminating these ideas to a broad audience wrapped around a somewhat disconcerting core of harsh diatribe against a few books and films that have bothered hooks recently (the Help, the Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks) and not-so-recently (e.g. Crash). This essay format was both repetitive and schizophrenic, but still a worthwhile read to ch ...more
May 22, 2014 Drick rated it it was amazing
I have read several of bell hooks' books and never cease to be stretched and challenged by her use of language and her radical feminist anti-racist perspective. This book is no exception. While the book's primary audience seems to be African Americans, I continually found myself asking what might this mean for me as a white middle class male. She introduces the admittedly awkward phrase "imperialist white supremacist capitalist patriarchy" to capture the intersection of various domination system ...more
Iso Cambia
Apr 22, 2013 Iso Cambia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: It's short enough for anyone to give a try.
Recommended to Iso by: Dr Phillips
Interesting collection of essays. I'm not at all fond of her essay on Henrietta Lacks, as most of her criticism of Rebecca Skloot's book "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" stems from discontent that the book has a heavy focus on science. bell hooks wishes the book had neglected the importance of the HeLa cell line and instead focused on the ways racism, sexism, and poverty affected Henrietta Lack's life. But Skloot is a scientist, not a critical race theorist, and the medical and scientific ...more
Joshunda Sanders
This was the first time I read a book and my name was quoted in it. So I want to say the book was amazing because I nearly fell out when I saw that bell hooks had read a piece I wrote with my friend and fellow writer, Diana Barnes-Brown. But beyond that, the book was wonderful, as many of her books are. I love the simplicity of her sentences. She deconstructs white supremacist capitalist thought, she talks about the dearth of self-help and self-love tomes for black people generally but black wom ...more
Cheri Edwards
Jun 06, 2014 Cheri Edwards rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this for a Women's Study course. As a black female writer with some experience in the publishing business, her analysis and discussion of the media including the appropriation of black female narratives and in particular, "The Help" is spot on. This discussion becomes even more important in light of Ta-Nehesi Coates revealing essay about the systematic exclusion of black access to the achievement of financial wealth. I like that she identifies "the system" of dominating patriarchy as the ...more
Samaa Ahmed
Apr 21, 2016 Samaa Ahmed rated it it was amazing
I spent a long time trying to construct a review that is worthy of this book. I don't know if that is possible because this is honestly one of the best books I've ever read. It's a beautiful collection of essays - some are think pieces, others are book/movie reviews - and an awesome selection of insights that strengthen my commitment to anti-oppressive feminist praxis.

The opening lines of a few chapters were so deep that I paused and reflected on them for a few minutes before continuing on.

May 15, 2013 Danielle rated it it was amazing
Amazing!!! Especially her analysis of The Help, Precious, and Crash. As well as her writing about white supremacist thought and black self-determination.
Dec 31, 2012 Monica rated it it was amazing
bell hooks at her finest- my favorite reminder from this book is that patriarchy starts in the home!
Mar 16, 2016 Brandon rated it really liked it
If half stars were an option, I would give this 3 and half but I'll allow an extra half star for intent and execution. hooks (she writes it in lower case so why not) infuses decades of experience into a polemic that inspires and shames and ventures to tell us How We Can Fix Things. While she lost me at the assertion that spirituality is essential for social progress (hard for me to swallow as an atheist), her secular ruminations on community-consciousness-based attitudes about race and gender an ...more
Sivananthi T
Nov 08, 2015 Sivananthi T rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Re-reading. Re-visiting perspectives on the perpetuation of the white/ capitalist/ patriarchy, and much relevant to issues of rising religious fundamentalism, interrogating media, committing to excellence, re-examining the role of love, critique and forgiveness.
Feb 18, 2014 Julian rated it did not like it
How onanistic. There really isn't much point for this book to exist. The people most likely to be reading hooks's works are typically the erudite masses who have little need for her polemical diatribes on oppression.
Ayesha Ali
Mar 16, 2014 Ayesha Ali rated it it was amazing
Incisive critical analysis of so many aspects of our current culture. Empowering and masterfully written. A book I will return to again and again.
Aug 09, 2015 Monica rated it it was amazing
This is the sort of book that everyone needs to read. It inspires.
Sep 23, 2013 Katie rated it it was ok
Read for my Engendering Rhetorical Power class. Rating is for me not really being able to pin down what the author's attitude towards certain things is. She's got some weird hierarchy of valuing films/literature in a way that privileges art, and yet says that she appreciates a variety of works. Although she argues against binary thinking, it seems like she still engages in it.
Jul 05, 2016 Mia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
bell hooks is both accessible and incredible articulate in her writing. Her essays are thoughtful, and though they are critical, they do are not harsh in their judgment of texts. I found her to be very fair while still raising important points in a way that welcomed reader understanding, rather than alienating the reader. I'm looking forward to more of hooks's work.
Cyndi Lu
Jun 26, 2013 Cyndi Lu rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the essays in the book. I liked how each illustrated hooks' use of praise by weaving the theoretical work together with pop culture, personal and familial aspects, and professional connections. I also really enjoyed the movie critiques. I can now see why The Help, Precious, and Crash cannot be the racial challenges they were touted to be.
May 28, 2015 Maggie rated it it was amazing
Love bell hooks <3
Mills College Library
305.80097 H784 2013
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Bell Hooks (born Gloria Jean Watkins) is an African-American author, feminist, and social activist. Her writing has focused on the interconnectivity of race, class, and gender and their ability to produce and perpetuate systems of oppression and domination. She has published over thirty books and numerous scholarly and mainstream articles, appeared in several documentary films and participated in ...more
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