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4.35  ·  Rating Details  ·  593 Ratings  ·  60 Reviews

“Black people are not dark-skinned white people,” says advertising visionary Tom Burrell. In fact, they are much more. They are survivors of the Middle Passage and centuries of humiliation and deprivation, who have excelled against the odds, constantly making a way out of “No way!” At this pivotal point in history, the idea of black inferiority should have had a “Going-Ou

ebook, 320 pages
Published February 1st 2010 by Hay House, Inc. (first published 2010)
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Aug 07, 2015 Jackie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book provided an interesting analysis of the "brainwashing" that plagues the psyche of many black Americans. Definitely essential reading for anyone who is black and living in America, this book carefully weaves in the history of the black American community, and how deep rooted insecurities reach back into the period of slavery. Burrell’s thoughtful and important analysis of hip hop music and its dangerous and damning portrayal of light skinned black women as trophies is delivered in a man ...more
Brian TramueL
Jun 26, 2011 Brian TramueL rated it it was amazing
Thought provoking, capable of starting a social revolution. Mr. Burrell goes beyond exposing the problems infecting our mental psyche by providing us with the why; Why we feel, think and believe the myth's, stereotypes and generalizations presented to us. Brainwashed provides many teaching moments. For me the BIGgest take away is to not become overly attached to an idea, thought, phrase or image; Because someone or something you trust says it, writes it or prints it doesn't make it real. Remain ...more
Jim B
Aug 31, 2014 Jim B rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jim by: Mike Pingel
Shelves: cross-cultural
Burrell, an African American Advertising Hall of Fame inductee, tackles the popular African American culture of today over the myths that many blacks perpetuate by going along with, or at least not protesting. Stereotypes of beauty, sexuality, failures in family life, inability to control spending -- Each of these and other "myths" about black people have a chapter devoted to them. The origins of the myth are explored, and modern examples are discussed.

To his credit, Burrell asks why more black
Joi Reece
May 27, 2012 Joi Reece rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I must say that I quite enjoyed this book. Provocative and thought provoking!!

This book asserts that African Americans have been subjected to mental enslavement via brainwashing. A plan so sinister, that today’s black people accept it as reality and perpetuate it.

“African Americans have been conditioned to see themselves as powerless,” writes Burrell. It's almost like a modern day Pavlov experiment. Conditioning at its saddest supported by a multitude of interesting examples. The author display
Feb 21, 2015 Arvis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall, I was not disappointed with this book...I actually quite enjoyed reading it. It highlighted key aspects of African American (rather American) history that I did not know, particularly the meticulously calculated and systematic deprecation of people of color by way of the media. I really appreciate this insight and I am now more conscious of the black inferiority beliefs still affecting many people (of all skin colors and nationalities). However, I disagree with a few of his methods to c ...more
Britany Rickett
Apr 05, 2012 Britany Rickett rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Received this book at Howard University for the discussion with Mr. Burrell. I loved getting my book autographed. He has a lot of great insight in person so I can't wait to start on the book. I am a bulk book buyer and read in order so I am finally ready to get to this although I've had it for a few months.

Working in media, Tom Burrell is able to give his account at the professional level but also at the historical level and a deeper personal level. I admire how this book wasn't "preaching to t
Colleen Clarke
This book is very insightful and speaks about many of the issues that plague the African American and even Afro-Caribbean societies. I must agree that our mindset and lifestyles has to change, in order to affectuate positive changes. In order to change behavior, we have to change our belief system - placing more attention and priorities on our families and the importance of positive and beneficial changes - not to forget our neighbors. We can no longer continue to blame others for our current st ...more
This book has definitely enlightened me. I can definitely understand all of the propaganda used to brainwash young African American minds. This stuff is real and has been going on for years. I really just love the fact that Tom Burrell uses historical evidences. He is absolutely right, we do need to wake up and try our hardest to break free from our slave like minds. I would read this book again and recommend for anyone no matter what race to read it and help others to understand what's going on ...more
Sep 10, 2012 Jeremy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best work of Black people that I have ever read. This book should be a wake up call to stop the inferiority of Black people. I applaud Thomas J. Burrell for having the courage to write this book. A must have book collection!
Aug 20, 2013 Drick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tom Burrell is a successful marketing executive who turns his attention to the challenges and struggles in the African American community. He speaks as African-American to other African Americans, so for me as a white person it was like listening in on a conversation that most whites do not ever have a chance to hear. From Burrell's perspective many of the problems plaguing poor, urban black communities (such as gun violence, high school drop out rates, overly sexual musical lyrics, teenage preg ...more
Sep 06, 2010 Cecile rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who wants to help break the cycle of racsim
Although a bit repetitive, Burrell provides the kind of language and history that would make this book a good text for our youth, of any race.

Too many think that because slavery ended in the mid 1800s, the psychic and economic scars are also in the past.

Not enough time has past, and not enough people of all races have learned that the rationalizations for whites being so dehumanizing has been as well integrated into our society as is Christianity.

It will take centuries, unfortunately, for the
Feb 07, 2015 Cornelius rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was very thought-provoking. What it did well was bring to the surface the underlying attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors of how slavery continues to affect blacks to this day through propaganda. This propaganda has been extremely effective and the main perpetrators of this negative portrayal are blacks themselves. How? Through the types of music, films, books, etc. Why do we call each other niggaz, bitches, hoes, etc?

This negative propaganda needs to be countered by positive propaganda.
Ronald Jones
Jan 21, 2016 Ronald Jones rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is history and social commentary from a former marketing executive's perspective. It takes a marketing executive, a person who made a living selling images to the public, to appreciate how the forces driving the monstrous mechanism of slavery fueled that mighty engine with a propaganda campaign espousing the inferiority of the enslaved. As Tom Burrell, author of this engaging book, asserts, the brainwashing did not end with the demise of American slavery but continues to this day. Burrell o ...more
Nov 02, 2014 Ruben rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A deeply poignant and provocative book that examines the mythical portrayal of African Americans via propaganda: namely media mediums. A difficult book to read and yet profoundly educational. This is a must read for those intently interested in developing avenues for social change and harmonies among the different people(s) of our nation...and our world.

The truths mentioned in the book are disturbing and can be polarizing if not read through the eyes of understand and a desire to connect on a c
Excellent. A MUST read.
Jun 25, 2012 Christopher rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a advertising executive, Burrell has a unique perspective in detailing how Black Inferiority has been sold with masterful skill and technique since the founding of the United States.

His incisive statements on many of the failings of American Black society and the root causes for those shackles is remarkably expressed.

You might not put the book down and walk away mad (you might), but will have a greater understanding of the intrinsic actions and continued behaviors that thwart the vast major o
Catherine Richmond
It made me think. And that's high praise for a sermon, a song, or a book. It made me think.
-Jamaica survived slavery and colonialism. Despite a black majority, Jamaica struggles with poverty, unemployment, fractured families, violence - many of the problems Burrell attributes to BI.
-Chinese workers brought to the western US to build railroads were treated like slaves. Yet Chinese-Americans today seem to have overcome early racism.
-Native Americans suffered violence, racism, break-ups of family
This book feels like sitting in the living room with your uncle and your grandaddy when they go on a rant. It brings up some great points, but uses misleading and often outdated statistics and really never quite develops its arguments. It is a shame, because Burrell knows what he is talking about after founding and running his own black-focused marketing company for decades.
Sep 13, 2010 Colleen rated it really liked it
Think of your most deeply rooted and ill-serving personal traits: spending too much money on items you can't really afford, accepting violence as a way of life, lack of self-esteem, difficulty with intimacy, and poor diet, among others. In your heart you don't like what you see, know you can do and be better, but the journey is long and arduous, and fraught with a multitude of reasons not to change. Hard, right?
Well, now imagine that you belong to an entire group of people who for centuries hav
Jan 04, 2013 Hillsa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I felt this book was thought-provoking. Many of the things Burrell discusses are things I've heard discussed around the table when I was growing up. I can relate to a lot of the topics in the book and found myself nodding my head often. The only problem I have with a book like this is that when you're done reading it, what do you do? I don't think Burrell wants to leave readers with the impression that "well folks, that's it....we're toast!" but how do you turnaround a mindset that doesn't even ...more
Aug 15, 2014 Amber rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think this book is a must read for the Brown community. It's gives a detailed explanation of the propaganda used to enslave the minds of our people from the moment our ancestors arrived in this county as slaves. This is a very mind opening book that will help our people begin to reverse the myth of inferiority.
Dec 27, 2011 Jessica rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book introduces many interesting ideas. However, as all propaganda does, it skews the information presented in one direction -- the direction of "black as victim." There are so many wonderful books out there that show the plight of the black Americans as success stories, that should be read right alongside this book in order to get a real clear view of black society. I read this with my 10th graders, and all they seemed to pull from it were bad ideas about their culture. I paired it with Th ...more
Rose O'Keefe
Jul 30, 2015 Rose O'Keefe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Author Tom Burrell has an effective method of comparing the long and short-term benefits of not standing up to internalized and externalized racism. His approach is clear and effective. While this may not be fun reading, it is good reading.
Bee Simone
Aug 16, 2015 Bee Simone rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It took me a while to get through this book. At first I was eager and couldn't put it down- then it felt somewhat repetitive. Overall, this book was very thought provoking and at times I found myself reflecting and pointing out specifics that applied to me.
Why do I feel inferior? Why do I eat like I do? Why do I perpetuate these stereotypes and behaviors?
I'm happy I read this book because I would have never thought about black culture in this light. I identified with so much that it was normal
Tanya Jackson
Oct 11, 2014 Tanya Jackson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Is it wrong to suggest that all African-americans read this book? The roots of hurtful stereo-types and negative images of blacks in depth. Must read for sure.
I was expecting an academic analysis of how media portrayals of African Americans have impacted race relations and the economic, social and educational opportunities of African Americans in the United States. And this is certainly present in the book, but it is not the focus. The book is really written as a sort of self-help book for the the African American community. Certainly optimistic, and there were some things in here I hadn't considered such as the down sides to integrating schools. Read ...more
Vincent M. Hunter

Its good very empowering for the black community. We are not inferior to any races. I recommend this to everyone.
Apr 19, 2012 Penelope rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book truly opened my eyes to Black American culture. Tom Burrell takes an advertiser's perspective on the myth of black inferiority and how Americans (regardless of race) use this myth to rationalize the atrocities and injustices forced upon the Black American people. What I found truly interesting about this book is that it could be applied to every minority group and how it gave a historical context to the current plight that Black Americans face.

To me, a mark of a good book pushes one's
Jun 30, 2013 Freya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hugely important read. Also a good, clear and concise historical introduction for those who want to learn more about the astronomical affect of cultural oppression that's still ruining black people's lives. I wouldn't say I was this book's target audience, this is very much written to inspire and motivate people of colour (and rightly so), I would love to know some of the reactions from black feminists, however particularly when it comes to Burrell's theories on 'Studs and Sluts' and his views o ...more
Samson Fitzpatrick
I read this book a while back. I love this book
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“Negative media reinforcements not only influence how cops, judges, employers, and others view black males, they affect how young blacks view themselves.” 1 likes
“In the ‘60s and early ‘70s, we paid lip service to being black and proud, but the sudden conversion was not supported by the necessary psychological machinery to make the change permanent. Even today, we have woefully inadequate countermeasures, no permanent cultural mechanisms to undo what a 400-year marketing campaign has achieved.” 0 likes
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