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Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority
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Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority

4.36  ·  Rating details ·  1,244 ratings  ·  106 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 “Goi ...more
Paperback, 312 pages
Published February 1st 2010 by SmileyBooks (first published 2010)
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Average rating 4.36  · 
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 ·  1,244 ratings  ·  106 reviews

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Mar 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Joi Reece
May 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Brian TramueL
Jun 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
May 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
Sep 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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!
Tanya Jackson
Oct 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jul 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
I read Brainwashed with the expectation that Mr. Burrell would offer a concise yet thorough analysis of why Black America is in a perpetual state of frenzy. Some of us experience vast wealth, others are firmly established in a "middle class", others have yet to break the chains of crippling poverty. My feelings were mixed at some points during Brainwashed because I felt it was placing a large share of blame on the individual for simply being who they are- especially the chapter that dealt with s ...more
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
Mar 03, 2012 rated it liked it
I wanted this to be better than it was - it seemed more like a long and complicated pitch rather than an academic argument. I found it to be pretty disappointing but still found plenty of great points.
Mar 04, 2014 added it
Excellent. A MUST read.
Richard Diggs III
More Than a Book

Wow. This book has changed my life. I started with an open mind, and finished with a new purpose for the betterment of our people. Truly a gem in disguise.
Sep 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Simply amazing! As I journey past each page I find myself highlighting and taking notes! This I worth every page. I am grateful for the work of Mr.Burrell as he had drawn the lines of our past, to our reactions and responses of today. As a Socual Worker,and solution focused person, knowing that ideas and reprogramming solutions are provided at the end of each chapter. I never realized I was as brainwashed until opening the pages of this book. I was able to identify my own behavior and ideas and ...more
Sep 17, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Sep 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Sep 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was a wonderful book. I recommend everyone to read this book, I find it to be very important. It not only tells you about the challenges we face in the media and but it also tells us how we as people can deal with them. It also goes into talk about we as yourself need to make some changes for our young people. It asks some very important questions on each chapter of the book, for example, 'Why do we keep killing each other?

There is also another book in which linked to this one and its calle
Raya Fagg
Jul 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
One of those books that makes you question the choices that seemed so innocent. After reading this book I have eschewed most reality TV (do I really want my child to think it's acceptable to throw punches when she doesn't agree) and been more conscious about how and what I say around my children.

This book isn't easy to read and covers some things that other tomes related to race cover (relationships, sex, employment) but this book presents the information as a sell so that Blacks can see how far
Kasongo Nkhoma
Jun 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Amazing Book. You know he tackles everything wrong with most Black people without flirting with religion. From how white dolls mess up a girl child and boy beauty perspective, to how black people make fun of themselves on serious problems. To think being ' in love' is not cool.
On why black people can't form strong families etc, his tackled everything. This book will be a manual in my house, I'll live by it, it's gospel.
Nov 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Solution Focused

Excellent and throughout examinatiom of current circumstances with emphasis on how we got here. I love the solution oriented writing that propels the reader into action. This is recommended reading for all black Americans, especially during the current climate in the United States.
Oct 23, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Poor writing and weak explanations of problems facing the black community. Good suggestions at the end of the book that should have been more developed.
M. Jackson
Oct 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Difficult to read, but necessary.
Nov 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
A bit repetitive butn ot bad overall...
Couldbe a great tool for black folks to learn how to control their image in the medias..
Chux Uzoeto
Jun 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: blak-books
This book is a master class in unemotionally articulating the situation of black people (never just in America), from a sober professional and progressive point of view. The book demands we must move away from our victim mentality of all shades, and urgently learn to QUESTION, ANALYZE, UNPLUG, & REPROGRAM events around us and how our perceptions being molded by them.

In my new found life mission of improving the image and dignity of black people, this book is like a much loved bible and Tom Burr
Shayn Blackwell
Jun 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing

I’m sure lots of black academics/readers “KNOW” some of the history that leads to common behaviors in the black community, but the way Burrell lays it all out, even providing graphic organizers to help piece the history/timelines together is unmatched.

I love his approach to addressing the internal factors that contribute to black plight because it
Jeremy Eackles
Nov 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I must admit, I have been ignorant to my historical roots as a black man in America, but after digging into this book, I now have greater insight into why it is essential for us a black people to continue move forward as people. This book answers questions as to why we think and act the way we do, but also, I like how Burrell provides solutions as to how we can further progress as a possible. I recommend this read, especially for any young black man who wants to get a greater understanding on hi ...more
Curtis Lockette
Jul 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Insightful and Revelatory

I loved this book. I showed me things about Black Inferiority that has been hidden in so many pictures, movies and other common things we see in our daily lives. I had never looked at racism against black people as being a marketing scheme. Revelation to me. I also got to look inside myself and see that I have laughed to hard at things that furthered BI. I recommend this book to all black people who wish to see beyond what you can see about yourself and the world we liv
I loved this book and am going to incorporate it into my 11th grade Mass Communications class next school year. Tom Burrell is an advertising executive who breaks down the stereotypes we use for African Americans. He points out that we have been using these same stereotypes since before the Civil War, still use them today, and offers ample evidence for his claim. Impressive. I think my students are going to find this book very valuable. Now I just need to find the money to buy a class set of boo ...more
Apr 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Very candidate, well researched and clearly articulated examples of the black inferiority complex in American society. This book reads like a text book, brining historical facts as it relates to the modern struggle of blacks today. The final chapter is critical in challenging blacks to explore how our actions and narrations hurt, help and/or have no effect on the black esteem. This is a must read for all people of color. I highly recommend this book.
Alan Davis
Sep 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
This for me is a different kind of self-help book.

Playing connect the dots, Burrell was able to trace some of the generational issues surrounding black culture and why many of these things have their roots and slavery and racism. A lot of it makes sense and this should be used as a way to strengthen our resolve as a people and a nation.

Basically if you ever feel inferior for any of the reasons explained in this book...understand it’s not (all) your fault and be conscious of your actions.
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