Rock My Soul
Black People and Self-Esteem
by bell hooks
World-renowned scholar and visionary bell hooks takes an in-depth look at one of the most critical issues of our time, the impact of low self-esteem on the lives of black people.
Without self-esteem everyone loses his or her sense of meaning, purpose, and power. For too long, African Americans in particular have been unable to openly and honestly address the crisis of self-esteem and how it affects the way they perceive themselves and are perceived by others.
In her most challenging and provocative book to date, bell hooks gives voice to what many black people have thought and felt, but seldom articulated. She offers readers a clear, passionate examination of the role self-esteem plays in the African-American experience in determining whether individuals or groups succeed or self-sabotage. She considers the reasons why even among "the best and brightest" students at Ivy League institutions "there were young men and women beset by deep feelings of unworthiness, of ugliness inside and outside."
She listened to the stories of her students and her peers -- baby boomers who had excelled -- and heard the same sentiments, including deep feelings of inadequacy. With critical insight, hooks exposes the underlying truth behind the crisis: it has been extremely difficult to create a culture that promotes and sustains a healthy sense of self-esteem in African-American communities. With true brilliance, she rigorously examines and identifies the barriers -- political and cultural -- that keep African Americans from emotional well-being. She looks at historical movements as well as parenting and how we make and sustain community. She discusses the revolutionary role preventative mental health care can play in promoting and maintaining self-esteem.
Blending keen intellectual insight and practical wisdom, Rock My Soul provides a blueprint for healing a people and a nation.
- Atria Books, January 2003
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