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Eloquent Rage

A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower

Brittney Cooper


Eloquent Rage Download image

ISBN10: 1250112885
ISBN13: 9781250112880

Trade Paperback

288 Pages



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Far too often, Black women’s anger has been caricatured into an ugly and destructive force that threatens the civility and social fabric of American democracy. But in the Black feminist tradition of Audre Lorde, Brittney Cooper shows us that there is more to the story than that. Black women’s eloquent rage is what makes Serena Williams such a powerful tennis player. It’s what makes Beyoncé’s girl power anthems resonate so hard. It’s what makes Michelle Obama an icon. Eloquent rage keeps us all honest and accountable. It reminds women that they don’t have to settle for less. When Cooper learned of her grandmother’s eloquent rage about love, sex, and marriage in an epic and hilarious front-porch confrontation, her life was changed. And it took another intervention, this time staged by one of her homegirls, to turn Cooper into the fierce feminist she is today.

In Brittney Cooper’s world, neither mean girls nor fuckboys ever win. But homegirls emerge as heroes. This book argues that ultimately feminism, friendship, and faith in one’s own superpowers are all we really need to turn things right side up again.


Praise for Eloquent Rage

"Eloquent Rage follows in the line of classics in the genre."The New York Times

"[Eloquent Rage] 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."—Rebecca Solnit, The New Republic

"[A] proud, energetic reclamation of anger, via memoir and pop cultural analysis . . . forceful and smart and joyous all at once . . . It was an inspiration to me."—Rebecca Traister, The Cut

"A dissertation on black women’s pain and possibility; an autobiography of a black woman’s complicated dance with feminism, overcoming otherness as a big black girl in a skinny-white-girl world, her mother’s triumph over violence, and her own journey from disappointment to black joy."—Joy Reid, Cosmopolitan

"With straight-up vulnerability and humor sprinkled in, Cooper reminds readers that feminism, in essence, is about loving women . . . a for-us-by-us handbook tailor made to obliterate the idea of post-racialism in the Trump era."Bust Magazine

"[Cooper's] ardent book reminds us that what you build is infinitely more important than what you tear down—and that rage makes great mortar."Ms. Magazine

"A powerful examination of Black women’s anger, the cost for Black women who choose to be angry, and how all of this is rooted in misogynoir—or, racist and sexist oppression. Cooper gives us hope, reminding us that we can be powerful and we don’t have to settle for less."Signature

"[Cooper and I] were part of a panel at Harvard on race and the media (Panama Jackson and Kimberly Foster from For Harrietwere also there). Within the first five minutes of the conversation, I wanted to get up and take a seat in the audience. That’s how long it took for me to realize that everything I planned to say and every point I’d try to make, Brittney could say better and more powerfully, and somehow more succinctly and more descriptively."—Damon Young, The Root

"A breakthrough . . . this force of nature is becoming one of our fiercest voices in the new generation of African-American thinkers."Essence

"Razor sharp and hilarious. There is so much about her analysis that I relate to and grapple with on a daily basis as a Latina feminist."—America Ferrera

"[Cooper's] words resonate beyond the limit of the page; her call carries forth indefinitely."—Mark Anthony Neal

"Cooper personifies what Sonia Sanchez called 'homegirl and hand-grenade'—here, like the homegirl she is, Cooper gives us the uncensored truth about how America has become what it is today, and reminds us in no uncertain terms that Black people, and particularly Black women, have the brilliance, foresight, and vision to bring a different America to fruition, should we choose to use our powers for good rather than evil."—Alicia Garza, Special Projects Director, National Domestic Workers Alliance and Co-Founder, Black Lives Matter

"Brittney Cooper is not just one of the leading black feminist public intellectuals of the day, she is the Black Feminist Prophet we urgently need. Her work is the most rigorous, honest, heartfelt, compassionate, and challenging of any cultural critic out there because she does not shy away from the areas of black life too long considered taboo. In taking the lives of black women and girls seriously, Eloquent Rage succeeds where too many have failed. For those still searching for ways to discuss black women's lives with nuance and love, Brittney Cooper's fiery brilliance is ready to light your path."—Mychal Denzel Smith, New York Times bestselling author of Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching

“I was waiting for an Ida Wells, an Anna Julia Cooper, a bell hooks, a Patricia Hill Collins—an author who wouldn’t forget, ignore, or erase us black girls as they told their own story and that of the race and the nation. I was waiting and she has come—in Brittney Cooper.”—Melissa Harris Perry

“Cooper may be the boldest young feminist writing today. Her critique is sharp, her love of Black people and Black culture is deep, and she will make you laugh out loud even as she kicks the clay feet out from under your cherished idols.”—Michael Eric Dyson

“Sharp and always humane, Cooper's book suggests important ways in which feminism needs to evolve for the betterment not just of black women, but society as a whole. A timely and provocative book that shows ‘what you build is infinitely more important than what you tear down.’”Kirkus Reviews

“An ambitious, electrifying memoir. Recommended for readers seeking contemporary social commentary that’s unrelenting yet humorous.”Library Journal (starred review)

"Cooper is both candid and vulnerable, and unwilling to suffer fools."Publishers Weekly


Read an Excerpt


This is a book by a grown-ass woman written for other grown-ass women. This is a book for women who expect to be taken seriously and for men who take grown women seriously. This is a book for women who know...



Brittney Cooper (Eloquent Rage author) on Friendship with Black Girls

Listen to the author Brittney Cooper, co-founder of the Crunk Feminist Collective, as she discusses her inspiration behind writing Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower - in stores February 2018. Here she discusses elevating black girl relationships.

About the author

Brittney Cooper

Brittney Cooper is a professor of Women's and Gender Studies and Africana Studies at Rutgers University, she cofounded the Crunk Collective, and her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Ebony, and The Root, among many others. In 2017, she was named to The Root 100 List, and in 2018, to the Essence Woke 100 List.

Ryan Lash Photography

Brittney Cooper

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