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killing rage: Ending Racism (Owl Book) Paperback – Unabridged, October 15, 1996

3.4 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Bell Hooks, the influential writer of Ain't I A Woman?, offers a black and feminist perspective on the issue of race in America. Throughout the 23 essays, Hooks seeks a way out of the cycle of racism. A provocative voice seeking wisdom in the din, she boldly asserts "this nation can be transformed... we can resist racism and in the act of resistance recover ourselves and be renewed." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

If cultural critic hooks (Black Looks), distinguished professor of English at New York's City College, doesn't have a comprehensive plan for achieving her subtitle's promise, her sensitivity to the intersection of race, class and gender infuses many of these essays, written during the past 20 years, with challenges to conventional and liberal wisdom. Deeming her own rage "constructive," she urges that collective black rage be linked to a passion for justice, even as she warns that privileged blacks' "narcissistic rage" leads to public trivialization of poor blacks' real grievances. Though her declaration that contemporary feminism has done little to help blacks seems sweeping, hooks rightly argues that white defenders of Anita Hill have done little for poor black women, and that whites who deny that they are racist must engage in regular interaction with black folk. The author discerns that the recent wave of black self-help books ignores the link between personal and political change, and rues that contemporary black activists have forgotten the "profound critique of capitalism" their forebears raised in the 1960s. Also, she wisely warns against turning Afro-centrism into utopianism and wrenching multiculturalism into narrow nationalism. Author tour.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Owl Book
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Holt Paperbacks; Reprint edition (October 15, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805050272
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805050271
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #101,523 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By R. DelParto VINE VOICE on February 22, 2005
Format: Paperback
Bell Hooks covers all bases with the most pertinent issues that involve racism. KILLING RAGE: ENDING RACISM is an interesting critical assessment that does not only involve African Americans, but all Americans who want to understand why racism still exists. Three major issues in the book remain in my mind and were constantly repeated in most of the chapters: self-determination, White Supremacy, and decolonization. These issues, according to Hooks, are the root and the action for resolve in understanding the racism in the United States. For a long time, the "R" word has been an invisible subject, that never comes to a resolve when it is discussed -- a neverending circle. Hooks suggests that there is a sense of denial or amnesia.

Hooks makes a good point when she discusses the issue of race as it pertains whether or not black and white women can be friends. She concludes: "If white and black women were collectively working to change society so that we could know one another better and be able to offer acknowledgment and respect, then we would be playing a major role in ending racism. As long as white and black women are content with living separately in a state of psychic social apartheid, racism will not change"(224). She goes on about patriarchy and sexism, which tend to be the where incohesiveness exists. However, white and black women relations have more in common in ending the gap by building a bridge toward activism.

For the most part, when it all comes down to it, everything that Hooks discusses leads to "let's face" the problem of racism. She states that it is possible, and it all depends on the individual, and building a community that educates and talks about learning about racism and how to deter it.
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Format: Paperback
I'm sort of a bell hooks fan. I've always liked her keen intelligence, lucid writing, and her ability to name oppressive forces that impact us all.
Many people will not like hooks because she doesn't write from an activist experience. She's primarily a cultural critic, providing insight and analysis rather than strategy and tactics. Her lack of political activism is indeed problematic, but as an activist teacher, I turn to hooks for inspiration and vision for how to engage my students and other folks in the educational community in visions of radical change.
In "Killing Rage," hooks comes on very strong in naming racism as a White, patriarcial, capitalist enterprise. In providing this analysis, hooks is examining instutions of both covert and institutionalized racism, the latter of which is harder to name and explain.
In this work, bell argues that the ending of racism must come through a "collecitve black rage." which means that "Progressive black activists must show how we take that rage and move it beyond fruitless scapegoating of any group, linking it instead to a passion for freedom and justice that illuminates, heals, and makes redemptive struggle possible." In other words, bell is spreaking of what took place in the Black power movement in which collective black rage rose up against racist aparthied in America. But she's not advocating that we build on the Black Power struggles of the sixities. Collective Black rage must include solidarity with Black feminist struggle and solidarity with class struggle along all racial lines.
While hooks does not seek to exclude White allies in the struggle to end racism, "Killing Rage" seems largely targeted to African people.
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Format: Paperback
This book is priceless! It's one of those books that made me go, "She sees it too! I've always noticed that but I always thought I was the only one that thought about it this way!"
hooks says what millions of African Americans have been made to feel guilty for thinking...we are angry, and it's justified! hooks dismantles and analyzes the mechanics of racism in this country with a boldness and precision that can only be envied by the so-called political and social leaders of the Black community today. The way that she approaches such taboo topics as sexism and color discrimination within the African American community is excellent. I am so glad to now feel that I am not the only black woman to be bothered by and concerned with these issues.
hooks not only gives insight into and clear explanations of such problems but also offers positive solutions. I was especially impressed with her demand that Blacks begin to pay attention the psychological damage caused by racism and that our mental health professionals begin considering our special history in this country when creating their theories.
hooks basically calls for Blacks to stop denying the pain, anger and resentment that is logically caused by our past and present position in this country, to stop adopting ideals that don't suit or benefit our people, and to stop internalizing but start being honest about the rage so that we may actually move forward and not just keep going through the motions while still psychologically destructive. She also calls for Whites to stop denying the role that they play in our self-destruction while advising Blacks to resist a victim mentality.
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