Black Cool by Rebecca Walker
One Thousand Streams of Blackness

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Black Cool explores the ineffable state and aesthetic of Black Cool. From the effortless reserve of Miles Davis in khakis on an early album cover, to the shock of resistance in black women’s fashion from Angela Davis to Rihanna, to the cadence of poets as diverse as Staceyann Chin and Audre Lorde, Black Cool looks at the roots of Black Cool and attempts to name elements of the phenomena that have emerged to shape the global expectation of cool itself.

Buoyed by some of America’s most innovative thinkers on the subject—graphic novelist Mat Johnson, Brown University Professor of African Studies Tricia Rose, critical thinking and cultural icon bell hooks, Macarthur winner Kara Walker, and many more—the book is at once a handbook, a map, a journey into the matrix of another cosmology. It’s a literal periodic table of cool, wherein each writer names and defines their element of choice. Dream Hampton writes about Audacity. Helena Andrews about Reserve, Margo Jefferson on Eccentricity, Veronica Chambers on Genius, and so on. With a foreword by Henry Louis Gates that bridges historical African elements of cool with the path laid out for the future, Black Cool offers a provocative perspective on this powerful cultural legacy.

About Rebecca Walker

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Rebecca Walker has received numerous awards and accolades for her writing. She is the author of the bestselling memoir Black White, & Jewish: Autobiography of the Shifting Self, and Baby Love: Choosing Motherhood After a Lifetime of Ambivalence, and the editor of the anthologies To Be Real and What Makes a Man. She lives in Kahului, Hawaii. Author website:
Published February 1, 2012 by Soft Skull Press. 194 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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Beneath her surface cool, the author admits, lay “pure liquid fire threatening to annihilate.” As she shifted from parent to parent, her life became a cross-country odyssey, with uneasy stopovers in Mississippi, San Francisco, Washington, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Larchmont, New York, “like jumpin...

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it’s simply a commodity for purchase: “A crisp, clean pair of brand spanking new Air Jordan sneakers was a supreme status symbol for anyone who wanted to be cool and ‘down with the streets.’ ” Thomas takes the intangible concept of black cool and quite skillfully grounds it between a pair of Nike...

Feb 01 2012 | Read Full Review of Black Cool: One Thousand Stre...

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After an informed foreword by historian Henry Louis Gates Jr., the various commentaries on the fundamentals and potential of this African-American cultural export domestically and globally are written by such trendsetters as writer Mat Johnson, performing artist Staceyann Chin, critic Dream Hampt...

Dec 12 2011 | Read Full Review of Black Cool: One Thousand Stre...

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