I’m surprised that I haven’t heard much about Brittney Cooper’s “Eloquent Rage” save for the recommended reference at my local library, but it was a read that I definitely found worthwhile in its overarching narrative. I was fortunate to pick up the audiobook which was wonderfully narrated by the author.
This is a combination of a biography, social commentary, and historical account of many issues that arise in the experience of black women, spanning from issues and figures noted through history up through the present day. I’ve known all too well about the concept of “eloquent rage”, and this book is composed of a series of essays that delve into topics such as Black Lives Matter, the Obama Presidency, violence against black women, gendered stereotypes and misogyny, among other aspects. Cooper is passionate, thorough in her research of multiple social issues, and brutally honest and humored in a way that I found inspiring and informative. There is a bit of a limitation in terms of the amount of dissection she has in these topics (some of them likely more massive than this book had room to do, such as noting discussions of gender and sexuality), and I felt that the book could’ve used better structuring and organization for the transition from one topic to another. However, I did find her weaving her personal narrative with each topic an engaging and immersive experience. I also found it refreshing that she’s speaking directly to black women throughout the narrative and calling out contradictions that exist in society (even within the own community) that work against black women. I definitely appreciated what this book had to say and felt it spoke to me on several levels, though while highlighting many contemporary issues that need to be addressed and brought to collective attention.
Overall score: 4/5 stars.