When I tell you this book has been on my reader’s list/radar all year long?!  I mean that thing! I knew I was going to like this book when the author said, This book is for grown ass women.


At the first few lines of this book, I wanted to burst into tears. Just–all of me and all the women in me rejoiced.


Dude, I cannot explain it. But I recognized the IT she spoke of–all I could think of is, “I need to get this book in the hands of every black woman I know.” Dr. Brittney Cooper has kicked a hole in [white] feminism and I am one-hunnit percent here for it.

The most potent quote in this book, that I clearly must resound is this:

“Sass is a more palatable form of rage.”


In choosing to listen to the Audible version, it was like listening to a six hour lecture by my favorite professor. From education, black womanhood’s intersectionality, and sex/relationships, Dr. Cooper runs the gamut of how important it is for women, black women to own all they are. From her own childhood, not shying away from her own issues and trauma, her argument for why women should be feminists.

Dr. Cooper made me examine my own shit and the relationships I have had with black women in my own life. There were portions of the book, especially when she mentions intersectionality, the burden of being both black and brilliant, and the loneliness therein, I almost burst into tears. All of me that was the same overachieving, avid reader of the BSC with the white girl name hollered out. I was in tears because Dr. Cooper had given name to what it was I was feeling, the hurdles I had fought and all by my lonesome.

She reminded me that this sass, this rage is not meant to be ignored or suffocated. I had a right to be mad. And in the wisdom she draws from Audre Lord and bell hooks, that rage has to be focused to do the most good.

As the book ends, Dr. Cooper gives this  quote:  “I was told growing up in the church that you never leave without the benediction.” After all she poured out, after all she shared, she reminds us to have joy–this internal happiness. She reminds us that as black women we are entitled to have joy, and it cannot be granted or kept by the world.

This book? A blessing. It’s one of those books that I add to my library knowing my daughter may need the same written map. The rage is targeted fuel…and that fuel made me a Firestarter. What will it make you do?




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