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.
Her writing voice—at turns incredibly smart and homegirl slick—will slide right into black feminist cannon along with bell hooks’ Talking Back, Joan Morgan’s When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost and, of course, Audre Lorde’s Sister Outsider. Cooper is a black girl’s black girl and writes with the authority and the love of someone who loves black women. My book is earmarked, underlined, co-signed and sanctified ... It is, in a word, excellence. In another, necessary. Or a third, meaningful.