Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower by Brittney Cooper
Published by St. Martin’s Press on February 20th, 2018
Genres: Essays, Feminism, Non-Fiction, Race
“When I talk about owning eloquent rage as your superpower, it comes with the clear caveat that not everyone is worth your time or your rage.”
The best feeling these days is when you finally get a book you’ve been waiting for from the library. I got Eloquent Rage and within a day I’d finished reading it!
Eloquent Rage is an essay collection that explicitly discusses Black women and Black women’s feminism. Far too often, Black women’s anger has been caricatured into an ugly and destructive force, but Cooper shows us that there is more to the story than that. Eloquent rage is what makes Serena Williams the best tennis player in the world, it’s what makes Beyoncé’s girl power anthems resonate, and it’s what makes Michelle Obama an icon.
Was the wait worth it for this book? YES! Yes, it was.
Cooper’s writing is fantastic. She touches upon such weighty and highly academic topics, but her writing has a sense of accessibility. Yet it never feels like she’s dumbed down concepts for the readers.
Essays are personal with Cooper discussing her childhood, her family, and her own experiences. But she also adds in well-researched arguments and nuance. It’s perfect since Cooper herself mentioned that she had some trouble with black feminist texts because they’re so difficult to understand.
I love being a woman and being a friend to other women,’ should be feminism’s tagline.
From beginning to end, the book is focused on Black womanhood. She talks about how black women’s bodies are coded, she discusses white women benefiting from black culture, she touches upon important Black women in pop culture. It’s a celebration of Black feminism, but she also acknowledges that you aren’t a bad feminist if you want to watch a problematic movie every once in awhile.
This is such a page turner because it really felt like she was a friend demanding that you hear her out. She presents the facts in a conversational way. It doesn’t feel like she berates you for not knowing everything about Black history.
I did find that some of her essays ran on longer than they had to and Cooper often repeated herself throughout the book. But her writing is so full of heart and passion that I could overlook it in the end and focus on the bright spots of the book. And there are so many of them!
I have always lingered over stories of women who lead, women who know what they want out of this world, and women who demand that others respect them and recognize their magic.
Overall, it’s a great book that I would recommend to anyone who’s interested in gaining an in-depth understanding of intersectional feminism.