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What does it mean to have or to love a black body? Taking on the challenge of interpreting the black body's dramatic role in American culture are thirty black white and biracial contributors—award winning actors artists writers and comedians—including voices as varied as President Obama’s inaugural poet Elizabeth Alexander actor and bestselling author Hill Harper political strategist Kimball Stroud television producer Joel Lipman former Saturday Night Live writer Anne Beatts and singer songwriter Jason LuckettRanging from deeply serious to playful sometimes hilarious musings these essays explore myriad issues with wisdom and a deep sense of history Meri Nana Ama Danuah’s unprecedented collection illuminates the diversity of identities and individual experiences that define the black body in our culture

10 thoughts on “The Black Body

  1. says:

    This is by no means a theoretical text on the construction of the black body in the social imagination Nevertheless it is still a must read for anyone interested in the subject All of the essays are deeply personal and from a wide range of authors including some white who have taken a brave chance in exposing the ways their whiteness has informed how they read and interact with blackness These were often surprising but also important to understanding that race issues in this country are not just a black thang BUT the essay by Anne Beatts My Daughter My Self was such a piece of self indulgent racist mess that it nearly caused me to put the book down She writes about her adoption of a black child who she refers to as a woman despite the fact that the child is only six years old The little girl was abandoned by her birth parents and a number of foster parents before being adopted by this white author As a result of the abandonment she hits and acts out violently The author actually suggests that this six year old is hitting her because she is a white woman and is taking out all her anti white rage on her or has already absorbed what she calls the rage of the black community while as a brown skinned woman I won't deny that many Americans of African descent harbor anger and resentment towards Americans of European descent for a wide variety of reasons I scoff at the idea that it is a universal sentiment and that a little girl could have developed such racialized resentment in six short years on this planet Besides to use the term black rage is like using the term black on black crime Both are used to obscure the fact that the same things exist in the white community as the essays in this book by the white writers demonstrate Rage is rage and crime is crime Beatts projects all of this—which is really a manifestation of her liberal guilt—onto a little girl She also insists that had the little girl stayed with her black birth parents she never would have become intelligent hard working articulate creative etc etc It's one hot mess of an essay and Anne Beatts clearly needs some therapy to deal with her internalized racism Other than this the book is a great read

  2. says:

    This collection of essays on the Black Body provides a pretty hip introduction to key themes in bodyidentity politics What I like the most about this book is that most of the contributers speak in a language that is everyday yet extremely creative It is very substantial in matters that are covered inter racial dating hair gender norms intellect memory colorism la di dah Many portions of this book moved me to tears I fully encourage this type of publication It is humane real and accessible

  3. says:

    interesting book with revelations regarding the black body and how the writers feel about it physically and emotionally Being a black woman myself I experienced many of the situations that others had hair issues body shaming inadeuate and uneual education My favorite story was the last one which made me think of my own mother She too loved dressing up and often had everyone searching for the matching shoes to complete her outfitwonderful memories

  4. says:

    This was a great and interesting book It provides you with some Black history as both Black White authors convey their experiences with either being Black or having relationships and connections to Black people and their cultureDon't let the title fool you its covers all areas of Blackness; hair Black Blood being Biracial education just to name a few

  5. says:

    This is a powerful and insightful collection I was particularly moved by the Fear and Loathing The Joy in the Journey I it was a privilege to get such an intimate window into the lives of these powerfully honest women I strongly related to Paxton's description of yoga

  6. says:

    The essays varied in uality but overall I enjoyed the read

  7. says:

    A reading and panel discussion on The Black Body on Wed June 23 at ALOUD at Central Library wwwaloudlaorg

  8. says:

    Reading for my next book group meeting I'm on the last essays The book gets much better midway

  9. says:

    An enjoyable collection of essaysstories on being kissed by the sun that loves us brown

  10. says:

    Collection of essays on different aspects of African American bodies mostly Author splits her time between Ghana and the US