Talking Back: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black

by bell hooks

Paperback, 1999


Checked out


South End Press (1999), Edition: Wavy Pages But Clean Copy, 186 pages


In childhood, bell hooks was taught that "talking back" meant speaking as an equal to an authority figure and daring to disagree and/or have an opinion. In this collection of personal and theoretical essays, hooks reflects on her signature issues of racism and feminism, politics and pedagogy. Among her discoveries is that moving from silence into speech is for the oppressed, the colonized, the exploited, and those who stand and struggle side by side, a gesture of defiance that heals, making new life and new growth possible.

User reviews

LibraryThing member mbowen
I'm one of those individuals who believes that frued was a fraud. and i might be indulging in some essentialist solopsism when i assert that there was never anything he said that would or could be of any value to this black man. but to the extent that i can function well in the world without any deference to freud's notions of mental health and self-regard, i might be onto something. i can say without a doubt that hooks and west were powerfully instrumental in helping me deal with my existential demons by contextualizing my struggle to be recognized as a thinking man who is black in american society. as the old gospel song says 'the burdens of my heart rolled away'.

there are many ways that i changed myself by changing my thinking. i was able to do so without discarding my background, which our society so often demands of african americans. this is something bell hooks was able to uniquely communicate to me in 'talking back: thinking feminist, thinking black'.

once upon a time in america, black children were not supposed to look at white adults eye to eye. we knew it was wrong, but we didn't know why and so we didn't say anything. hooks comes from all those places, and understands what's wrong with that and uses her considerable intellect to set our souls and our minds in balance. minds that were once shut down while our souls cried out can now work with the tools hooks crafts and put us sensibly back - clear eyed and straight up
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Original language


Physical description

186 p.; 5.5 inches


0896083527 / 9780896083523

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