A monthly columnist on race and gender for Cosmopolitan and a professor of gender and Africana studies at Rutgers University writes here in the Black feminist tradition of Audre Lorde to remind Black women that anger is a powerful source of energy that can provide the strength to keep on fighting.
Her book is as much a book about love as it is about anger: self-love and the struggle to find and hold it; love for the many women in her life, as well as public figures from Ida B. Wells to Audre Lorde to Terry McMillan to Hillary Clinton...and at least implicitly a love of justice, of equality, of righting wrongs and telling truths. It is a warm and generous work, and a fierce one ... Cooper’s is distinct both for its telling as the author’s own journey and for its—yes—eloquent personal voice, which, between her erudition (she is a professor at Rutgers) and her command of vernacular, is funny, wrenching, pithy, and pointed.
...Brittney Cooper builds a manifesto mostly from memoir ... Cooper writes movingly about coming of age as a black woman in the Baptist Church and on the campus of Howard University—two bastions of black power and, in her experience, black patriarchy ... Cooper’s attention to the complex dynamics of anger is illuminating even for readers who don’t agree with the positions she ultimately takes.
... Cooper masters the art of intertwining the scholarship of eminent Black feminists such as bell hooks and Audre Lorde with regular Black girl jargon ... Cooper captures Black girls’ journey to womanhood by dissecting our experiences with love, family, social systems, and everything in between. Her chapters are full of snapworthy material that Black women will read and say, 'me too.' Eloquent Rage allowed me to pause, reflect, and find my own superpower ... This book is for 'grown ass women'; it is serious, it is heavy, and it is light ... Eloquent Rage is for young twenty-something Black girls growing into their womanhood, as well as older adult Black women. Cooper’s book also celebrates where you are right now, as she is very transparent about her process ... This book discusses Black women’s plight and it is imperative for Black men to read and understand it ... Cooper’s inclusion of Sandra Bland feels like a way of saying her name. The insertion of these tragedies serves as a reminder that Black women are not immune to systemic racism and violence. We carry it all ... thought-provoking and reflective. It challenged my understanding of feminism but also made me comfortable readjusting and expanding my current understanding of feminism. Eloquent Rage is fierce, hilarious, and accessible, versatile enough to be read in college classrooms, coffee shops, and book clubs. After documenting all the BS we’ve endured and will continue to endure, Cooper reminds us that joy comes in the morning. The inclusion of optimism and Bible verses are a perfect reminder to continue to smile.