What Is Cool?: Understanding Black Manhood in America

Marlene Connor, Author, Marlene Kim, Author
Marlene Connor, Author, Marlene Kim, Author Crown Publishers $20 (201p) ISBN 978-0-517-79965-9
Reviewed on: 05/01/1995
Release date: 05/01/1995
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Apparently the outgrowth of a decades-old undergraduate thesis, this book is distinctly amateurish. Freelance writer Connor asserts that cool is ``the new rules and new culture'' for blacks who reject white America, and that it is also ``perhaps the most important force in the life of a man in black America.'' She proceeds discursively through ``Street Cool,'' the mechanism for survival in the inner city; ``Revolutionary Cool,'' associated with the racial pride born in the 1960s; ``Middle-Class Cool,'' which allows survival on white campuses and in white workplaces; and ``Electronic Cool,'' as exemplified in the media. She observes, however, that cool has hampered relations between black men and black women, and she warns that the concept can be a limiting self-definition in a diverse world. Though this topic is worth exploring, the book lacks insights from anthropology, sociology or literature. (May)
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