”Black people are not dark-skinned white people,” says advertising visionary Tom Burrell. In fact, they are a lot more. They are survivors of the Middle Passage and centuries of humiliation and deprivation, who have excelled against the odds, constantly making a way out of ”no way! ” At this point in history, the idea of black inferiority should have had a ”Going-Out-of-Business Sale.” After all, Barack Obama has reached the Promised Land. Yet, as Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority testifies, too much of black America is still wandering in the wilderness. In this powerful examination of ”the greatest propaganda campaign of all time” - the masterful marketing of black inferiority - Burrell poses 10 provocative questions that will make black people look in the mirror and ask why, nearly 150 years after the Emancipation Proclamation, so many blacks still think like slaves. Brainwashed is not a reprimand; it is a call to deprogram ourselves of self-defeating attitudes and actions. Racism is not the issue; how we respond to racism is the issue. We must undo negative brainwashing and claim a new state of race-based self-esteem and self-actualization.


Review!: This book is an absolute key read for anyone who questions/debates why certain issues are happening in the black community and uncovers the root causes of these issues. And from reading this book, you will find out that racism is in no way a thing of the past but has just transformed as opposed to neccessarily getting better.

However, as a black person, this book will also force you to look at your mentality and others around you and help you understand how black people themselves may be contributing to their own inferiority. Hence, this book is not a list of rants about historical racism and really gets to the root causes of black inferiority in a honest and realist way, which I feel is needed. Therefore, as a lecturer and youth work practitioner, I would definitely recommend this book to youth and community practitioners, community leaders, church leaders etc (those in positioners who influence others) as well as anybody generally interested in this topic as it is time to start being brutually honest, look in the mirror and devise real strategies/practices that will empower ourselves, as well as other members in the black community. And Burrell does this in a excellent way by looking at a number of issues including relationships/family, black sexual stereotypes, black & beautiful concepts, black-on-black homocide, health, materialism, education, comedy and religion….making you question if you have been brain-washed and in what domains.

Also, another plus about this book is that is a extremely easy read. There are no big words and exaggarated jargon. And with the use of contemporary examples throughout i.e. Current rap stars like Lil Wayne, BET etc, it is easy for the reader to understand the links between the past and today’s contemporary society. So this would make for particulary good reading for those of the younger generation (aged 15 upwards).

So overall, this is a excellent, well-written book and is one of the best books that I have read in regards to racism and black inferiority in today’s Western society (relevant to both the US and the UK) and I agreed with what Burrell writes.

Therefore, I would highly recommend this book and hope you recommend it to others too.


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