cover image Talking Back: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black

Talking Back: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black

bell hooks. South End Press, $15 (186pp) ISBN 978-0-89608-352-3

Hooks, a pen name for Gloria Watkins, the author of Ain't I A Woman: Black Women and Feminism , here gathers essays that also focus on being black and feminist in America. She begins by recounting painful personal experiences: growing up in a repressive, Southern, ``father-dominated household,'' attending a segregated high school, struggling to find her own, persuasive voice and become a writer, and learning to deal with racism and sexism while studying at ``predominately white universities'' in Wisconsin and California. Hooks then moves on to a general discussion of the women's movement and how ``white supremacy'' in our society adversely affects it. Although the author makes perceptive and provocative observations, they are diminished by redundancy and weakened by her doctrinaire Marxist rhetoric: ``In resistance, the exploited, the oppressed work to expose the false realityto reclaim and recover ourselves. We make the revolutionary history.'' In addition, the author employs labels such as ``got everything White people.'' Ultimately, she fails to convince or even to use her own voice. (Dec.)