Welcome to the Women for Women International Book Club! This month we’re reading Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower by Brittney Cooper
As you read this month’s book, don’t forget to join the #WFWIBookClub Facebook Group. We’ve launched a space for readers passionate about women’s power to connect. We hope you’ll join us soon to help build a community of sharing women’s stories and our strength with one another.
What is Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower about?
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 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 Brittney into the fierce feminist she is today. In Brittney Cooper’s world, neither mean girls nor bad boys 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.
Check out the discussion questions below and connect with readers on Instagram to share your reactions, thoughts and questions by using the hashtag #WFWIBookClub, and tagging us with @womenforwomen. We want to hear what you think—share with us your take on the book!
1. What is intersectional feminism and why is it crucial to the definition of feminism? How does the author give examples of intersectional feminism?
2. In what ways have you seen anger “focused with precision,” as Brittney cites from Audre Lorde’s Sister Outsider, enact political change? Have you ever acted in this way?
3. In “Capital B, Capital F,” the author, Brittney Cooper, shares how she became a feminist. How did you become a feminist? What does being a feminist mean to you?
4. Who are the strong female leads you look up to in the media and in your own life? Why do you look up to them?
5. How can men best fight for equality, and be allies to women, in a patriarchal society? At Women for Women International, we believe we must all work together to shift the unwritten rules that marginalize women. After years of working towards creating greater equality in communities, the women we serve told us we needed to go a step further. They asked us to educate the men in their communities about women’s rights. As a result, Women for Women International first piloted a men’s engagement program in Nigeria in 2002. Since then, we have worked with nearly 26,000 men across six countries to ensure that they will not be barriers, but instead, serve as support systems for women’s empowerment.
6. In “Never Scared,” Brittney Cooper says that “white fear is the cultural refuse of white supremacy.” How do you see this played out in politics today?
The above questions are adapted from the publisher's, Macmillan, discussion guide.