cover image Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower

Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower

Brittney Cooper. St. Martin’s, $25.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-11257-6

Cooper, Cosmopolitan contributor and cofounder of the Crunk Feminist Collective blog, provides incisive commentary in this collection of essays about the issues facing black feminists in what she sees as an increasingly retrograde society. Many of the essays are deeply personal, with Cooper using her own experiences as springboards to larger concerns. In the essay “The Smartest Man I Never Knew,” Cooper uses the story of the attempted murder of Cooper’s mother (while she was pregnant with Cooper) by her mother’s jealous boyfriend as an example of American culture’s toxic masculinity. Elsewhere in the collection, the author explores her own identity as a black, Southern, Christian feminist and the ways in which personal politics can become incongruous, and she openly admits her own privilege. Cooper is at her best and most inflammatory in an essay titled “White Girl Tears,” in which she bulldozes white feminists for cultural appropriation and failing to “come get their people” during the 2016 presidential election. Cooper also cleverly uses Michelle Obama’s hair to craft an artful censure of respectability politics and discusses Beyoncé as a cultural symbol of black female solidarity. In these provocative essays, Cooper is both candid and vulnerable, and unwilling to suffer fools. [em](Feb.) [/em]