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Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority Paperback – February 1, 2010

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: SmileyBooks; 1 edition (February 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401925928
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401925925
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (168 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,218 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Marketing communications pioneer and Advertising Hall of Fame inductee Tom Burrell is credited with revolutionizing the image of African Americans in television and changing the face of American advertising. His award-winning work promoted positive and realistic images of blacks and acknowledged the purchasing power of the African American community. Burrell is the founder of The Resolution Project, a nonprofit organization that promotes intra-racial dialogue and community-based new media “stop the brainwash” campaigns. He lives in Chicago’s South Loop area.

Customer Reviews

It really makes you stop and think about things going on around you!
I loved the way the author broke each section down from an advertiser's point of view, as well as the historical origins of each issue that was addressed.
J. Robinson
The book speaks about some of the self-hatred that blacks have for their own race as a result of the myth of the white superiority complex.
R. Williams

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

232 of 236 people found the following review helpful By Victoria Anton-brown on February 24, 2010
Format: Paperback
After reading Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority, I have but one regret; It has challenged my role as a passive observer. It's now hard to laugh at black comedians and rappers who carelessly use the N-word or endorse sexual promiscuity and violence. I can no longer dismiss the impact of black films or TV shows that exaggerate black pathologies and buffoonery. With disturbing clarity, the author draws connections between what's deemed "black entertainment" today and what was yesteryear's promotion of vile, demeaning, violent and debased black stereotypes. From "Relationship Wrecks" to "Neo-Coons" and every chapter in between, Burrell details a masterful 18th Century propaganda campaign that has effectively imbedded the notion of black inferiority and white superiority in society. With concentrated focus, the author shows how blacks, as well as whites, have been unconsciously conditioned to expect black inadequacies. Not satisfied with simply identifying this insidious campaign, the author, a former advertising executive, compassionately details a "New Media" strategy aimed at reclaiming black minds and communities. There have been many authors (Norman Coombs, E. Franklin Frazier, bell hooks) who have explored the psychological damage wrought by slavery and oppression. Burrell's approach from an advertising/marketing perspective, however, offers valuable perspective in an increasingly media-driven and dominated society.
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107 of 112 people found the following review helpful By Van A. Vaughn on February 23, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Once I began to read Brainwashed by Tom Burrell it was difficult to put down. His explanation of how the purposeful destruction of slave families 150+ years ago has evolved into a self-perpetuating cycle that, if left unchecked, insures continued enslavement for years to come, is powerful. Burrell convincingly rebuts arguments that say the Black family was restored during reconstruction and that its decay is of more recent origin. Brainwashed invites the reader to check your guilt, leave your defenses at the door, and allow yourself to consider that we can all make choices to both be free and set each others free. As a professor of multicultural counseling at a Midwestern university, I added the book to my recommended reading list before I was halfway through reading it. I have also ordered a copy for the school library. This is a must read for those who long for a truly "post-racial" America.
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87 of 93 people found the following review helpful By Enola Aird on February 26, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have purchased multiple copies of Brainwashed to share with my family and friends, and I intend to buy many more. This is a must-read book for Black people--and everybody else. There is a growing grassroots movement for emotional healing and renewal for Black people in this country and around the world. As part of the Community Healing Network, a group working for emotional freedom for Black people, I can report that Brainwashed is already at the top of our list of recommended readings. It is an important addition to the body of work describing the historical roots of so much of the pain we see and feel in Black communities today. Touching on nearly every area of Black life--from our physical and mental health to the health of our interpersonal, family, and community relationships, and more--Burrell shows how each has been undermined by the myth of Black inferiority. Along the way, he shares insights that can help us help ourselves. Brainwashed shows how the myth of Black inferiority has been skillfully marketed throughout American history and proposes a bold and creative campaign of reverse marketing to help change how we see ourselves and how the world sees us. What makes this book so important, from my point of view, is Burrell's focus on action through his Resolution Project, which is designed to use the media to replace the toxic messages that are part and parcel of the myth with new and positive images of Black people. Tom Burrell has made an indispensable contribution with the gift of an excellent resource for movement-building--and with his commitment, as a marketing expert, to use marketing to change the image of Black people.
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54 of 63 people found the following review helpful By T. Lindsay on March 26, 2010
Format: Paperback
I was looking forward to reading this book after hearing the author speak about the book on my local radio station. I was primarily interested in his solutions, as any intelligent African American knows the source of our dysfunction is our ancestors past slavery. Where I find a problem is the author's solutions to the many problems he outlines in his book. Perhaps my expectations were too high, but where were the marketing "tricks" that many marketing firms employ to convince the public to agree to their propaganda? Where were the fundamental principals of "influence" to get us to change our ways? Where were the multiple layered type strategies that the powerful use to persuade the masses to do their bidding?
Lastly, many times I find older Americans leaders leave out the youth in their quest to change our ways. Many of our most inspirational leaders were young when they started their movement - King was in his twenty's during many of his demonstrations. Malcolm X was also in his twenty's during his most productive time. More youth need to be mentored in the ways of persuasion and influence. These same youth can then take up the banner of African American issues and go forward into the future.
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