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Rock My Soul: Black People and Self-Esteem

4.31  ·  Rating Details  ·  187 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
In Rock My Soul, world-renowned scholar and visionary bell hooks takes an in-depth look at one of the most critical issues facing African Americans: a collective wounded self-esteem that has prevailed from slavery to the present day.
Why do so many African Americans -- whether privileged or poor, urban or suburban, young or old -- live in a state of chronic anxiety, fear,
Paperback, 240 pages
Published January 6th 2004 by Washington Square Press (first published December 31st 2002)
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Rock My Soul is about self-esteem in the African-American community. I’m not African-American and therefore some of the points she makes in her book do not apply to me, though they were interesting to read about. The main point the book makes is that, as a group, blacks have internalized so much negativity and falsehoods, dating back from slavery times, and also compounded by media images (especially eurocentric ones which paint any black features and characteristics as bad) that self-esteem is ...more
Aug 09, 2011 Troy rated it it was amazing
I will probably have to buy this - so much to digest and take in! As someone online a lot, the refrain seems to be the same - "why don't you black people take responsibility? Why are you killing each other? Why are you so ANGRY?" In America, we are products of a society that tells us that, basically, we ain't shit, and from our beginnings to our endings, we have alternating messages - keep your head down, and maybe you'll get somewhere.

Not only does this offer some answer as to how this comes up
Feb 06, 2009 Rashida rated it really liked it
Bell Hooks is a militant feminist. Her writing is not for the faint of heart.
Markeshia Ricks
Jan 22, 2014 Markeshia Ricks rated it it was amazing
I confess I am late to the bell hooks bandwagon, and Rock My Soul is my second introduction. My first introduction is the essay she wrote for the Feminist Wire critiquing Sheryl Sandberg's "Lean In", which I have not read yet. I'm quite taken with hooks' ability to marry the academic with the accessible. As one of my old professors once said, hooks writes so the "goats can get at it." In this book, hooks interrogates the the problem of self-esteem for individual black folks and black America. Sh ...more
Chamique Holdsclaw
Dec 13, 2012 Chamique Holdsclaw rated it it was amazing
One of the few books I've read twice. Amazing read.
Feb 17, 2013 Naomi rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Lots of us struggle with shame - not feeling like we are enough, or capable of being of any good in the world. bell hooks' examination of shame among black people in the United States brings systematic and cultural racism into the reader's understanding of how shame disables and disempowers, and the healing work ahead that is cultural, institutional, and personal. Powerful, vulnerable, revealing, and encouraging, this is a must read for those unlearning racism and divesting themselves of bigotry ...more
Jul 01, 2010 Robert rated it really liked it

I have read and re-read Bell Hooks book on black masculinity and this book reverberates many of the themes in that book. Blacks overall lack of self-esteem, the destructive nature of patriarchy on the
black community, and outlines for healing culturally entrenched damage to the psyche. At times I felt the book spent too much time reaffirming the destructive nature of past, However I would recommend this book
to anyone attempting to understand the black community and the issues that continue to pla
Feb 10, 2016 Rita rated it liked it
A great deal of wisdom here.

“enslaved black folk often experienced intense despair engendered by overwhelming feelings of powerlessness. Since the intent of colonization and slavery was to strip the slave of all agency, religious experience that enabled black people to identify with enduring the suffering of bondage while maintaining hope was life-sustaining….Identifying with a god of justice, who not only chooses the poor and oppressed but loves them especially, enabled exploited and oppressed
Sep 19, 2010 Ashley rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: black people, young people, people interested in self-esteem, cross-cultural understanding
great book for relating the untold history from the civil rights era to now that has resulted in so much normalized pathology within the black community. great examples of how to create healthy self-esteem for anybody.
Mar 17, 2014 Rarain rated it it was amazing
Very enlightening and powerful.
Sandi Worthen
Aug 22, 2015 Sandi Worthen rated it it was amazing
this book is fabulous. i will read it again soon. so much insight.
Anass Zad
amazing book wow
Aug 19, 2012 Erin rated it liked it
I love bell hooks....but I forgot that I'm not a big fan of the way she writes at can be a tad bit repetitive and halfway through I felt like we weren't covering any new ground. But this book was exactly what I needed this summer.
Jul 17, 2014 Samantha rated it really liked it
I don't think I'll finish the whole book (library copy), but it's filled with so much info I've been thinking about the Black community in America for a long time now. Definitely worth reading
Apr 02, 2013 Jennifer rated it really liked it
"Soul is the toughness born of hard times and the compassion oppressed people develop after centuries of sharing a laof that is never enough...soul is the graceful survival under impossible circumstances
Jan 28, 2014 vizionheiry rated it liked it
An exploration of causes of low self esteem in African Americans and a path toward healing.
Feb 20, 2010 WillJ rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cultural-studies
A must-read for anyone interested in or connected to black experience.
Jun 07, 2008 Aoliver marked it as to-read
Amazing Bell Hooks does it again, but I have to finish reading this one!
Jan 06, 2010 Vee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
bell hooks is amazing. I will probably re-read this book next year.
Travonne Thompson
Apr 09, 2009 Travonne Thompson is currently reading it
a great read so far when im finished ill update
Mar 12, 2012 Teddi rated it it was amazing
Must read for soul-soothing.
Very Insightful
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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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“One of the most subversive institutions in the United States is the public library..” 75 likes
“Any black person who clings to the misguided notion that white people represent the embodiment of all that is evil and black people all that is good remains wedded to the very logic of Western metaphysical dualism that is the heart of racist binary thinking. Such thinking is not liberatory. Like the racist educational ideology it mirrors and imitates, it invites a closing of the mind.” 21 likes
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