This “probing collection”—edited by the author of Black, White and Jewish—explores Black Cool with entries from bell hooks, Margo Jefferson and many more (Kirkus).
This collection of essays conceived of and edited by Rebecca Walker explores the ineffable state and protean aesthetics 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 attempts to decode the mystery of this ever-changing yet historically rooted phenomenon.
With essays by some of America’s most innovative thinkers on the subject—including graphic novelist Mat Johnson, Brown University Professor of African Studies Tricia Rose, critical theorist and cultural icon bell hooks, Macarthur winner Kara Walker, and many more—Black Cool offers a periodic table of cool, wherein each writer names and defines their element of choice. Dream Hampton writes about Audacity; Helena Andrews discusses Reserve; Margo Jefferson explores Eccentricity; Veronica Chambers illuminates 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.