Breaking Bread: Insurgent Black Intellectual Life

Breaking Bread: Insurgent Black Intellectual Life

by bell hooks, Cornel West
     
 

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In this provocative and captivating dialogue, bell hooks and Cornel West come together to discuss the dilemmas, contradictions, and joys of Black intellectual life. The two friends and comrades in struggle talk, argue, and disagree about everything from community to capitalism in a series of intimate conversations that range from playful to probing to revelatory.

Overview

In this provocative and captivating dialogue, bell hooks and Cornel West come together to discuss the dilemmas, contradictions, and joys of Black intellectual life. The two friends and comrades in struggle talk, argue, and disagree about everything from community to capitalism in a series of intimate conversations that range from playful to probing to revelatory. In evoking the act of breaking bread, the book calls upon the various traditions of sharing that take place in domestic, secular, and sacred life where people come together to give themselves, to nurture life, to renew their spirits, sustain their hopes, and to make a lived politics of revolutionary struggle an ongoing practice.

This 25th anniversary edition continues the dialogue with "In Solidarity," their 2016 conversation at the bell hooks Institute on racism, politics, popular culture and the contemporary Black experience.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for the book:

"bell hooks and Cornel West's wonderful volume is theoretical poetry, poetic theory....The scope of topics addressed in the far-ranging conversations between the two authors is breathtaking....[The book] not only theorizes about how a transformed intellectual power might fuse deep moral concern and political engagement—it actually does it."—Patricia Hill Collins, Signs (Autumn, 1994)

"A series of dialogues between and interviews with two of the foremost black intellectuals in America today, this volume is of enormous importance and offers rewarding reading."—Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A series of dialogues between and interviews with two of the foremost black intellectuals in America today, this volume is of enormous importance and offers rewarding reading. At the outset, hooks describes these conversations as a kind of ``testimony,'' in the religious sense, to ``what it means to be Blackstet cap intellectuals at this historical moment.'' West ( Prophetic Fragments ) and hooks ( Talking Back: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black ) talk frankly about the difficult necessity of moving beyond the academy to reach an audience in the black community at large. Much of their talk focuses on the violence done to the black community by consumer capitalism, by rampant market forces that have eroded the traditional institutions of support within the community, replacing them with a Big Mac and designer sneakers. Both are suspicious of the easy appeal of certain brands of black nationalism currently fashionable, but their analysis of those trends is balanced and convincingly argued. In her concluding essay hooks, drawing on her own childhood experiences, writes movingly of the pressures put on black women to reject intellectual pursuits. (Jan.)
Library Journal
Activists and academicians hooks ( Talking Back , LJ 12/88) and West ( Prophetic Fragments , LJ 3/1/88) share roots in the black church and a commitment to the life of the mind. This, their first joint publication, takes the form of a dialog that explores diverse aspects of modern African American culture: the spiritual crisis in the black community, conservatism among the black middle class, the new black nationalism, depictions of African Americans in popular culture, uses of black icons by modern political leaders. Of particular interest are their discussions of gender and politics; both feminists, they hope their own intellectual engagement can serve as a model for new kinds of relationships between black men and women. Although they rely too much on academic jargon, these two have important things to say, and this book's audience should by no means be confined to blacks. Highly recommended.-- Beverly Miller, Boise State Univ. Lib., Id.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781138218765
Publisher:
Taylor & Francis
Publication date:
11/15/2016
Pages:
200

Meet the Author

A cultural critic, an intellectual, and a feminist writer, bell hooks is best known for classic books including Writing Beyond Race, Feminism is for Everybody, Feminist Theory, Bone Black, All About Love, Belonging, We Real Cool, Where We Stand, Teaching to Transgress, Teaching Community, Outlaw Culture, and Reel to Real. hooks is Distinguished Professor in Residence in Appalachian Studies at Berea College, and resides in her home state of Kentucky where she runs the bell hooks Institute for Contemplation, Critical Thinking and Dreaming.

Cornel West is a Professor of Philosophy and Christian Practice at Union Theological Seminary and Professor Emeritus at Princeton University. He has written over 20 books and edited 13, including Race Matters, Democracy Matters, Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud, Black Prophetic Fire, and Radical King. Dr. West is a frequent guest on the Bill Maher Show, Colbert Report, CNN, C-Span and Democracy Now.