Breaking Bread: Insurgent Black Intellectual Life

Breaking Bread: Insurgent Black Intellectual Life

This extraordinary writer discusses how modern society impacts aspects of love. Hooks sets the stage with frank personal anecdotes, seasoned with her keen psychological and philosophical interpretations. She focuses in on romantic love, dissecting this source of longing and coming to the conclusion that, in American culture, men are socialized to mistrust women. She discusses the unfortunate consequence, which is the loss of love and meaningful relationships in the U.S.

Each chapter features a different aspect of love. Hooks lays out her position and shows the reader external work on each element of love. Then she gives a roadmap of suggestions to reverse the dire effects of cultural training so that the reader can become better at giving and receiving love. The aspects covered include respect, affection, trust, recognition, care, commitment, and open communication. The idea is to overcome a viewpoint of domination, gender stereotypes, ego, control, and aggression.

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Bell hooks is known for her passionate stance against racism and sexism, but in this book, she tackles the mystery of love. In New Versions, hooks suggests that the definition of romantic love is a myth that is as equally damaging as blind hatred. She proposes that the reader suspend their own opinions and notions on the topic and accept hooks’ definition within the pages of the book. Love is a verb, according to the author, although it can grammatically be used as a noun as well. This active definition sets the stage to improve the institution and how it’s been abused in modern society.

Hooks uses anecdotes from her life, including a frank look at how her own experience in trying to find love was influenced by a skewed modern view of what that should look like. Children brought up with justice and respect are prepared for love; they learn to give and receive love equally. Honesty, the double-edged sword, is the key to a truly healthy relationship. However, according to hooks, both men and women lie. Men lie to achieve domination and power, and women lie to allow men the fantasy that they have it. Hooks sees this as a major cause of unrealistic expectations in loving relationships.

Spiritual well-being begins inside each individual. Without it, we aren’t able to let go of obsessions with power and domination in our culture. Hooks hopes that couples can learn to put love above materialistic needs and overcome this long-standing cultural bias. In the last chapter, hooks suggest that couples become more forgiving. Only when both partners are looking at the overall picture can a truly deep and lasting connection ensue.


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