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Black Cool: One Thousand Streams of Blackness Paperback – February 7, 2012

4.7 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for Black Cool

"Walker and her band of scribes are in top form, giving a rich, varied picture of Black cool style." —Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Rebecca Walker is associate professor of social medicine and adjunct associate professor of philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

A graduate of Columbia University, Helena Andrews has written for numerous publications including Glamour, the New York Times, and TheRoot.com. She lives in Washington, D.C., and is working on the film adaptation of Bitch Is the New Black.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Soft Skull Press; Original edition (February 7, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593764170
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593764173
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #379,728 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Black Cool was a teaser-trailer to me of why education and sacred dialogue about topics concerning the evolution of African American people is invaluable. Each voice left me wanting to seek their work, the work of artists, authors, healers and educators I felt something deeply in common with. This collection of essays touched on topics such as bravado, defiance and healing that, at one time, have provoked distance in intimacy rather than bridged trust and tolerance. They were examined, confronted and left agape to be admired, mourned and sympathized with.

This easy read invokes memories of black values and the varying impressions collectively understood which influenced expression, fashion, education and self forgiveness over several decades. The power in this book is it's authors have in common current interests in the development of the self AND the community as well as being active contributors to what is perpetuating positive social change by sharing their stories; this is a movement. Storytelling is my all time favorite way to destroy cliche's that cripple the African American community. Dialogue about personal experiences, shared for the sake of the message, blow the whistle on urban myths that target style, choices and flavor of men, women and children in the midst of growth and claims our journey and history as our own. I hope for the continued honesty about people that have been an enemy to their own, this was refreshing and gave me a chance to just hear the story, be with the authors while relieving my own social angst about people over-protecting those who contribute to our destruction, no matter their creed or culture.
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Here, those whose creative talent is pegged at way beyond substantial, attempt to decode Black Cool in all its forms; What is it?, Who has it?, Who owns it? etc.... What you will get in return is an eclectic blend of responses that spans the gamut and, in of itself, is testament to the diversity that can be found in something otherwise known, monochromatically, as Black.
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There is a wide variety of topics and writing styles here. I enjoyed all the different short pieces on the different topics. The title is not quite accurate though. Only about half of the essays touch on "black cool." It is good reading and unveils a lot about what is going on today in Black America.
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Format: Paperback
I read this book because Kola Boof kept talking about it on her Twitter. I knew by the title it would be some type of affirmation essays by people I've mostly never heard of. I was pleasantly surprised when it turned out to be more than that! These essays are gritty, heart pounding and honest. This isn't the standard feel good schlock. *Black Cool* is really intriguing, surprising and life-affecting! I have to thank Kola Boof for constantly talking about it and I have to mention my favorites essays in here, first and foremost Michaela Angela Davis. Wow! She wrote what I think in *Resistance.* Then there's powerful stuff from Mat Johnson, Dream Hampton, Helena Andrews and of course Rebecca Walker, who I already knew was awesome because of another book *forgot the title* but she's Alice's daughter and is known for mind triggering works. This book is no exception.

Every person of any race in my opinion should read it! You'll get a lot more than you're expecting and you'll find yourself revisiting it over and over again.
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Format: Paperback
The group of essays that Rebecca Walker has compiled in Black Cool creates a tremendously useful resource for the study of what Blackness is for diasporic American natives and disaporic immigrants to America. Another aspect of this book that makes it valuable as a cultural studies tool is that it provides a wonderful space for contemporarily diverse gendered voices.
I drank this book in finding sustenance in it for several reasons. Each piece stands strongly by itself, uniquely demonstrating each author’s view of Blackness. Taken in concert, this group of writings demonstrates as Henry Louis Gates, Jr. states in the forward “a compelling and sustained conversation about the multiple meanings of blackness in the United States today” (X). One Thousand Streams of Blackness gains strength on this theme by “sustaining the conversation” in a varied and meaningful way. Certainly, I wonder if part of the pull of this book for me is the desire to be near that which is Black Cool, as so many other white folks have done before me in envy and in misunderstanding. But, the masterful way in which each author articulates the theme of Black Cool by celebrating both its humanity and resiliency is what truly bowled me over.
In her piece entitled “The Break” Valorie Thomas takes several components of Blackness in an American context and laces them together with a musical metaphor that incorporates everything from funk and feminism to DuBoisian theory to define Black Cool. By defining the “cultural and personal vertigo” that comes with the experience of being a Black American, Thomas teaches us to study and appreciate the awe-inspiring display of skill that exists in the break.
Michaela angela Davis defines Black Cool as black style.
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