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The Black Body

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  25 ratings  ·  10 reviews
What does it mean to have, or to love, a black body? Taking on the challenge of interpreting the black body's dramatic role in American culture are thirty black, white, and biracial contributors—award-winning actors, artists, writers, and comedians—including voices as varied as President Obama’s inaugural poet Elizabeth Alexander, actor and bestselling author Hill Harper, ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published October 6th 2009 by Seven Stories Press (first published 2009)
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Average rating 3.68  · 
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Aug 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is by no means a theoretical text on the construction of the black body in the social imagination. Nevertheless, it is still a must read for anyone interested in the subject. All of the essays are deeply personal and from a wide range of authors, including some white who have taken a brave chance in exposing the ways their whiteness has informed how they read and interact with blackness. These were often surprising but also important to understanding that race issues in this country are not ...more
Win Scarlett
Feb 27, 2010 rated it liked it
This collection of essays on the Black Body provides a pretty hip introduction to key themes in body/identity politics. What I like the most about this book is that most of the contributers speak in a language that is everyday, yet extremely creative. It is very substantial in matters that are covered: inter-racial dating, hair, gender norms, intellect, memory, colorism, la-di-dah. Many portions of this book moved me to tears. I fully encourage this type of publication. It is humane, real, and a ...more
Winifred Gray
interesting book with revelations regarding the black body and how the writers feel about it - physically and emotionally. Being a black woman myself, I experienced many of the situations that others had - hair issues, body shaming, inadequate and unequal education. My favorite story was the last one which made me think of my own mother. She too loved dressing up and often had everyone searching for the matching shoes to complete her outfit...wonderful memories.
Jun 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was a great and interesting book. It provides you with some Black history as both Black & White authors convey their experiences with either being Black or having relationships and connections to Black people and their culture.

Don't let the title fool you, its covers all areas of Blackness; hair, Black Blood, being Biracial, education just to name a few.
Andrea Rangel
Jan 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a powerful and insightful collection. I was particularly moved by the Fear and Loathing & The Joy in the Journey. I it was a privilege to get such an intimate window into the lives of these powerfully honest women. I strongly related to Paxton's description of yoga. ...more
Aloud LA
May 20, 2010 is currently reading it
A reading and panel discussion on The Black Body on Wed, June 23 at ALOUD at Central Library. ...more
Apr 20, 2010 rated it liked it
The essays varied in quality, but overall I enjoyed the read.
Oct 21, 2010 rated it liked it
Reading for my next book group meeting. I'm on the last essays. The book gets much better midway.... ...more
Aug 16, 2011 is currently reading it
An enjoyable collection of essays/stories on being kissed by the sun that loves us brown!!!
Nina Chachu
Collection of essays on different aspects of African-American bodies (mostly). Author splits her time between Ghana and the US
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