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Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower

4.34  ·  Rating details ·  12,499 ratings  ·  1,407 reviews
Far too often, Black women’s anger has been caricatured into an ugly and destructive force that threatens the civility and social fabric of American democracy. But Cooper shows us that there is more to the story than that. Black women’s eloquent rage is what makes Serena Williams such a powerful tennis player. It’s what makes Beyoncé’s girl power anthems resonate so hard. ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published February 20th 2018 by St. Martin's Press (first published February 19th 2018)
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Tamyka I got this audiobook from my local library. I also purchased the paperback book on Amazon.

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Mar 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
An excellent essay collection that explicitly centers black women and black women's feminism. Lots of provocative, intelligent thinking and engagement with blackness, popular culture, black womanhood, respectability politics, and the uses of, as the title suggests, eloquent rage. I really enjoyed how black womanhood remained the focal point of these essays from beginning to end. At times, some of the essays felt a bit long and circuitous but Cooper is such an interesting writer and thinker that ...more
May 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

A powerful and moving essay collection that will appeal to fans of Roxane Gay and Audre Lorde. Brittney Cooper writes about an array of cultural, personal, and political topics from the perspective of a black feminist. She addresses respectability politics and rage, friendship between black women, the 2016 collection, neoliberalism and the myth of exceptionalism, and more. One of her most impressive feats in this collection: she wields a writing voice that is intelligent and incisive an
Oct 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
2/20--this is now out! GO GET IT NOW!!

I received an advanced copy of this through NetGalley. Views are my own.

This is essential reading.

This was a powerful, heartbreaking, hilarious, important read. I can't recommend it enough.

I loved that while Cooper discusses topics both weighty and highly academic, her writing retains a sense of accessibility. I don't mean that it's dumbed down at all--her arguments are full of research and nuance--but rather that she clearly crafted this book with the audie
Jul 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wake-up, race, non-fiction

“Real radicalism implores us to tell the whole ugly truth, even when it is inconvenient. To own the hurt and the pain. To own our shit, too. To think about it systemically and collectively, but never to diminish the import of the trauma.”

I first picked this book up a few months ago and DNF-ed it. I felt frustrated that the author calls out all white people on racism and kept thinking, "Well, I'm not racist!". How could she write a book saying white people are racist when she doesn'
Feb 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Update: listened to the audiobook & it was just as good as the first time. But if I had to pick a preference, I prefer the hard copy.

My new Bible. Finally a book that puts definition or structure to the internal rage I’ve been feeling as a black women. Thank you Brittney for writing this.
Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

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This is one of those books where it feels wrong to say that I "enjoyed" the book because it is a book about inequality and oppression, and anger and pain, and I didn't exactly have a grand old time reading it. On the other hand, I found it fascinating and interesting and important, and even though it isn't necessarily something someone would read for fun, it should be read and I'm very glad I received a copy of it to read and review for
I am not sure that I’ve related this much to a collection of essays in a very long time. Brittney Cooper’s Eloquent Rage is a indictment of neoliberal society and its myths of exceptionalism, but also a “homegirl hem-up” for those of us struggling to correct both systemic oppression and our personal flaws.

I’ve been a fan of Brittney Cooper’s since my senior year of high school, when I first encountered her website, The Crunk Feminist Collective. As a sixteen year-old in South Carolina, the work
Never Without a Book
May 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Dr. Brittney Cooper’s Eloquent Rage is brutally honest and is written with humor and grace. Cooper presents multiple ways race, gender, and class touch in the oppression of Black Women, and how we subsequently navigate in the world. She provides solid research on why we all should own our rage and she does not sugarcoat words or try to make her evidence comfortable for black men and white people who believe themselves to be good. People of all races and genders, should read this book.
May 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Y'all need to run and get yourself a copy of this book because Dr. Brittney motherfucking Cooper did that! Damn this book is fantastic! ...more
Renée | Book Girl Magic
This books was EVERYTHING!! Do you hear me? Brittney Cooper was raw, comedic, on point and so relatable. She's just brilliant. There's no other way for me to describe it.

I think everything that I've ever thought or wanted to say as it pertains to African Americans and especially women was addressed in her book. In the past, people often liked to place me in a box growing up because I spoke different, played a white sport, listened to different types of music and rocked long hair. It was an extr
Apr 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: tops
OH MY!!! Dr. Cooper EMPTIED THE CLIP IN THIS BRILLIANT PIECE OF LITERATURE!!! This is what we young women need today! There is rage but as the title professes it is eloquent. From beginning to end, top to bottom she leaves no stone unturned and goes about it both methodically and warmly. If I could give it 10 Stars I would— it is the best book of 2018 and it’s just April. I hope to meet this beautiful and brilliant scholar someday, I’d even love to take her class. This is the type of woman I wis ...more
This book is everything, absolutely exhilarating! Brittney Cooper’s passion for black women and girls radiates throughout this book. It’s hard not to have your blood pressure go up a notch and your heart race a little faster while reading this book. I screamed out loud, laughed, said amen & preach Brittney! She spares the feelings of no one and I fully appreciate her take it or leave it unapologetic gut punching truth telling. THANK YOU #BrittneyCooper for going to the mountaintop to scream some ...more
May 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
It seems to me that after white women handed the election to Trump, the literary world just turned its head over to black women and were like "um, so can you please just fix this?" and thus the renaissance in "eloquent rage." I don't know if I am just reading a lot of these books or if it's actually the case that so many books just like this are being published--essays by black women explaining race and feminism and other cultural problems to the rest of the world. This one was great--I loved es ...more
Apr 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Dr. Brittney Cooper is my shero.

That is all.

Mar 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Confession: Just when I thought that I could not love Brittney Cooper more, she published Eloquent Rage. It took me longer than normal to read this book because it was so raw, so personal, and so full of rage. Dr. Cooper's writing is so smooth - she goes in and out of the towers of academia and ends up on her grandmother's porch all within the same sentence. She is clearly an intellectual, but also a homegirl in the best possible way. Cooper uses her own experience as a highly educated Black wom ...more
Alana Benjamin
Dec 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2020
Update: Even better the second time around....

“Not solely or primarily. Black feminism is about the world Black women and girls can build, if all the haters would raise up and let us get to work. When I talk about owning eloquent rage as your superpower, it comes with the clear caveat that not everyone is worth your time and your rage. Black feminism taught me that. My job as a Black feminist is to love Black women and girls. Period.”

This book is required & immediate reading for everyone.
Laura Noggle
Jun 06, 2020 rated it really liked it

“Real radicalism implores us to tell the whole ugly truth, even when it is inconvenient. To own the hurt and the pain. To own our shit, too. To think about it systemically and collectively, but never to diminish the import of the trauma.”

This book was amazing, powerful, and at times, humorous. Cooper speaks from the heart.

“If you say fuck the patriarchy but you don’t ride for other women, then it might be more true that the patriarchy has fucked you, seducing you with the belief that men
Jul 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: essays, audiobook
I found this book constructive and educational. The title really says it all - Cooper tells her personal story and brilliantly wields research and statistics to illuminate the obstacles black women face every day in America.
Traci at The Stacks
Smart AF. Eloquent is an understatement. Cooper is a force for good and my god she is exciting too. Intersectional and powerful. Centering black womaness and feminism. Check this book out.
Britta Böhler
I've learned so much! ...more
Joshunda Sanders
Oct 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What America needs, we know, is not always what America is willing to listen to. But Black women are America, too, even if some are deeply invested in having us forget that. And not just Black women who are mired in struggle, petty jealousies or self-hatred because they can't see themselves, but Black women who love ourselves when we are laughing and when we are broken hearted, who want to know joy and liberation even when we want to twerk and be ratchet, cry outrageous tears, try to be Spiritua ...more
Sam toer
Feb 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
A very powerful, astute, raw and brutally honest memoir which professor Brittney Cooper describes in her introduction as a "book for women who expect to be taken seriously and for men who take grown women seriously.This is a book for women who know shit is fucked up. These women want to change things but don't know where to begin." ...more
This book opened my eyes, challenged my thinking, made me uncomfortable (in the most necessary of ways). READ IT. Especially if you're a white woman. ...more
When We Read Book Club
May 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Brittney is my girl and in this book she holds no punches. This is a necessary read for all women who see themselves as feminist. In her words "That is something that feminism needs to be clear on - that it isn't feminism if all women's concerns, particularly the most marginalized women's concerns, aren't taken seriously."

Dr. Cooper explains why black women are angry and exactly why we have every reason to be. She does it unapologeticly and factually. Numbers matter and she breaks it down, hipp
What an amazing piece of work. I am floored at how relatable and timely this book is. What I absolutely loved about this book is that black women remained the focal point of the book the entire time. Most of the issues Dr. Cooper discusses you see in the media and it is great and enraging at the same time to have these issues eloquently addressed.
This is the first thing Ive read by Dr. Cooper and I am beyond impressed at how she is able to authentically address these issues and remaining true t
Phew. A phenomenal collection of essays that focuses on womanhood in the spheres of race, pop culture, respectability politics, the patriarchy, and more. What I super appreciated about this discussion of feminism is its consistent inclusion of trans women, and explicitly stating generalities as they pertain to allocishet folx. This is a must read for those of us that engage in critical feminist thinking, it explores feminism in some unique ways.
Sep 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An all-time fav in the genre- it is the intersectional memoir essay collection I've been waiting for and I absolutely loved it. I loved how she presented her arguments, I loved her use of personal details to paint a larger picture, and I loved her use of pop culture. This is my jam for this type of book ...more
Jul 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing

Like with any essay collection, some essays were stronger than others, but overall, this is a really powerful collection of essays that looks at feminism, racism, sexism, and the intersectionality of those things. Highly recommend.
Ashley Daviau
Jun 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book shook me up and woke me right the fuck up. It made me uncomfortable and at certain points I felt myself getting defensive and I had to stop myself and ask myself why I was getting defensive and work through it to realize I was feeling that way because everything Cooper was saying was true and I was guilty of doing the things she so eloquently and concisely spoke about. I clearly have a lot of learning and working on myself to do and this book was an invaluable tool and will continue to ...more
“Black feminism is not a reactionary project. It is not about the damage that white girls do. Not solely or primarily. Black feminism is about the world Black women and girls can build, if all the haters would raise up and let us get to work.”

“White privilege works by making the advantages white people have invisible while making the supposedly “poor” choices of people of color hypervisible.”

Just wanted to start with two quotes that show the power and brilliance of Brittany Cooper’s writing, bec
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Brittney Cooper is a writer, teacher, and public speaker. She thinks Black feminism can change the world for the better.

Brittney is Associate Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies and Africana Studies at Rutgers University. She is co-founder of the popular Crunk Feminist Collective blog. And she is a contributing writer for and a former contributor to Her cultural com

Articles featuring this book

There are many ways to take action against racism. Reading in order to learn more about oppression and how to oppose it is just one of those...
1487 likes · 242 comments
“Real radicalism implores us to tell the whole ugly truth, even when it is inconvenient. To own the hurt and the pain. To own our shit, too. To think about it systemically and collectively, but never to diminish the import of the trauma.” 27 likes
“I love being a woman and being a friend to other women,' should be feminism's tagline.” 13 likes
More quotes…