I rated, "Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority," by Tom Burrell with three-stars because the book seemed one-sided and unrealistic. Throughout the book the author drives home the point that blacks must unify, uplift and support one another. More...
I rated, "Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority," by Tom Burrell with three-stars because the book seemed one-sided and unrealistic.
Throughout the book the author drives home the point that blacks must unify, uplift and support one another. More so economically. Burrell, points out that many blacks go out of their way to avoid supporting black businesses. That very well could be true. However, that is not "always" the case. As an example, I supported a black-owned beauty salon, not once, but twice. Yet, the people at the shop could not style hair. When I shell out money I wholeheartedly expect quality when I pay for a service or product. And that includes black people. Therefore, I stopped supporting that particular black salon.
Tom Burrell discussed a myriad of general and broad concepts that impact the lives of black people in America. He never delved below the surface to elaborate. I read, "Christopher Columbus and the Afrikan Holocaust: Slavery and the Rise of European Capitalism," by John Henrik Clarke. Clarke wrote two statements that resonated within my mind:
(1) "What I''m trying to look at is that the war on the African started before he got on the ship," (Clarke, 1993).
(2) "Powerful people never educate you in how to take their power away from them, and their schools are not going to give you the kind of education you need. You have to make it, or take it. When you get the kind of education you need, you will discover the green fields of Africa and you won''t have to go to Africa to improve Africa. Africa is where you are. You start with your community and with yourself and then you will begin to see and understand revolutionary change" (Clarke, 1993).
After I had finished reading, "Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority," I did not learn anything new or revelatory. This book was basically a "refresher," on issues that plague the Black Community. Countless black authors have written about these same exact issues.
We are not a monolithic people and this book makes us seem as so. Not all black people think and act alike. I am a 54-year-old black woman, who does not care to go shopping. I am a bargain shopper and I am not an "emotional" shopper. Honestly, I do not know of any family or friends who are that way. I am a responsible individual.
There have always been blacks who found a way to succeed in America. Right during slavery, Jim Crow, Civil Rights Movement; blacks found a way to succeed. The author paints a picture that all blacks have only struggled in America. Lawrence W. Levine, the author of "Black Culture and Black Consciousness," highlighted the fact that many slaves actually had to help the plantation owners survive. Europeans did not possess the knowledge to live off the land. "African slaves were at no time as totally dependent upon whites as some scholars have imagined (Levine) Indeed, in some areas-colonial South Carolina is a perfect instance-the Africans were far more familiar with the environment than were the Englishmen."
Nuggets of wisdom were spread throughout this book. "Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority," does contain material that is informative, yet unrealistic. I watch a show called "Married To Medicine. This show appears on Bravo and features a group of real-life educated, professional women, including doctors and wives of doctors, who live in Atlanta, Georgia. These are a group of women who are highly intelligent, yet on the show they wear provocative attire, which at times exposes a great deal of cleavage. These women "know" exactly what they are doing. They act in this manner because they have a desire to make money.
Overall, "Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority," by Tom Burrell is an interesting read. I do recommend other readers pick up a copy.