Black looks : race and representation / Bell Hooks.

by hooks, bell, 1952-Looking glass.

Publisher: London : South End, 1992.Description: 200 pages ; 22cm.ISBN: 1873262027.Subject(s): African American womenLooking glass | African Americans -- Social conditions -- 1975-Looking glass | Racism -- United StatesLooking glass | United States -- Race relationsLooking glassNote: Includes bibliographical references and index.
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

In these twelve essays, bell hooks digs ever deeper into the personal and political consequences of contemporary representations of race and ethnicity within a white supremacist culture.

Includes bibliographical references and index.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Hooks continues to produce some of the most challenging, insightful, and provocative writing on race and gender in the United States today. In these new essays,the author/academician expands on a theme introduced in Breaking Bread with Cornel West ( LJ 12/91) and in earlier works: In a society that increasingly substitutes style for substance, how are the races represented to one another? Maintaining that white commodification cannibalizes African American culture, sell ing blacks a supermacho image that encourages violence and the subjugation of black women, hooks successfully confronts last fall's Senate Judiciary Committee hearings, imperialist images in yuppie mail-order catalogs, Madonna's use of black signifiers, the curious color blindness of feminist film criticism, relations between blacks and Native Americans, and other original and important topics. Highly recommended.-- Beverly Miller, Boise State Univ. Lib., Id. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Review

This latest collection from hooks ( Yearning ) contains a dozen recent essays on the representation of the African American experience, an area in which, she argues convincingly, little progress has been made. The author draws more effectively on her own experiences and sense of identity than do most other writers in the critical theory arena. Her gaze often falls on the ostensible recuperation of blackness into advertising, fashion and pop culture. She denounces white radicals' appropriation of an African American Other that revels in the oneness of a ``primitive'' people with nature. As she points out, the next step in that process is the commodification of the ``primitive'' by consumer culture. In other essays hooks offers brilliant analyses of the Hill-Thomas hearings and of Madonna, forcing readers to confront issues of race and representation that fans of the Material Girl would probably rather ignore and revealing the underlying reactionary bent of her music and videos. Equally striking is hooks's linkage of feminism and gay and lesbian liberation to black liberation, with a resulting rejection of a narrow and facile nationalism. Imbued with hooks's theoretical rigor, intellectual integrity, breadth of knowledge and passion, this book is a necessary read for anyone concerned with race in America. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


In her introduction, hooks tells the reader that her collection of 12 essays are "gestures of defiance. They represent my political struggle to push against the boundaries of the image, to find words that express what I see, especially when I am looking in ways that move against the grain, when I am seeing things that most folks want to believe simply are not there." Hooks does just that in a volume that is passionately personal but continues the articulate critique found in her previous books like Ain't I a Woman (CH, Apr'82) and Talking Back (1989). Black Looks will generate a wide variety of responses, but hooks's keen insight and cutting analysis need to be heard in present discussions of racism, sexism, and multiculturalism. The essays cover a wide range of subjects, but all focus on contemporary images. One essay discusses Oscar Micheaux's films, another looks at Jennie Livingston's film, Paris is Burning and a third, "Madonna," reflects on distinctions between cultural appropriation and cultural appreciation. Her essays not only expose the persistent blindness of what she calls "white supremacist capitalist patriarchy," but also affirm resistance to destructive images. Essays "Living Blackness as Political Resistance" and "The Oppositional Gaze" offer insights into both the structure of racism and ways of combating it. Recommended for all levels. C. Hunter; Earlham College

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Bell Hooks was born Gloria Watkins on September 25, 1952. She grew up in a small Southern community that gave her a sense of belonging as well as a sense of racial separation. She has degrees from Stanford University, the University of Wisconsin, and the University of California at Santa Cruz. She has served as a noted activist and social critic and has taught at numerous colleges. Hooks uses her great-grandmother's name to write under as a tribute to her ancestors.

Hooks writes daring and controversial works that explore African-American female identities. In works such as Ain't I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism and Talking Back: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black, she points out how feminism works for and against black women. Oppressed since slavery, black women must overcome the dual odds of race and gender discrimination to come to terms with equality and self-worth.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Other editions of this work

No cover image available Black looks : by hooks, bell, ©1992
No cover image available Black looks : by hooks, bell, ©1992