An enjoybale read, that went straight to the point from the first page, and maintained momentum till the last. It chronicles, ab initio, the demise of the Black psyche in America, from the days of slavery to modern day America. This was shockingly a straight line graph really. l also found it intriguing that the book's commentary could easily be applied to Blacks in the UK as well, something I thought was as amazing as it was disturbing. A lot of our young brothers and sisters, and community leaders should consider reading through this book. A lot of the pages will sadly appear and reflect as mirrors. Very good read. Five stars.
I was a well meaning but heavily brainwashed black man (from Nigeria). I was immediately drawn to race based discussions on starting to use Facebook, and quickly got entangled in all sorts of debates where I was arguing from very brainwashed perspectives (without knowing it). Being a logical, honest and reasonable man, I eventually got educated by so many that I had actually previously labelled and called names. I HAD WOKEN UP to the games being played on black people world-wide.
The last few years have been filled with exasperating encounter after another, where perfectly educated, intelligent and supposedly well-meaning black people were so eager to exhibit their obsession with expressing their self hate .. And most alarmingly, I observed that most black people were absolutely ignorant about so many important issues that are dictating and shaping our lives and perceptions. I also saw so-called enlightened and conscious brothers swing to the extreme in labelling (perhaps rightly so, most often) and calling names and expressing outright contempt and insults to these black people with white masks ... I did join in expressing disrespect (often), but I eventually realized that in terms of adding positive value to the situation, no amount of vitriolic condemnation can add any value. What tended to happen was the creation of gulfs and divides that furthered the problem and offered no plausible solution or guidance ..
Over the past couple of years, I have thus been obsessed with defining the situation with clarity and in a manner where the end product is positive and all-embracing, while shifting away from the common frictions that came from discussing any important issue of relevance to the black community.
Then along came 'Brainwashed' .. This book is a master class in unemotionally articulating the situation of black people (never just in America), from a sober professional and progressive point of view. The book demands we must move away from our victim mentality of all shades, and urgently learn to QUESTION, ANALYZE, UNPLUG, & REPROGRAM events around us and our perceptions being moulded by them. In my new found life mission of improving the image and dignity of black people, this book is like a much loved bible and Tom Burrell has bought himself GREATNESS with his work here. I particularly treasure the last chapter, along with the quotes of Deborah Cowell .. Finally, I found my manual and some positive inspiration.
I would go as far as to demand that this book is a must read for every adult and teenage black person world wide, and even honest fair-minded white people too (because the brainwashing crosses racial boundaries) .. It is of most relevance to conscious black people who are overwhelmed by the amount of LOUD ignorance that confronts them every step, and who struggle to come up with clear strategies for their community based discussions, activities, and writings. I am sure I will find real positive ways to promote this book, and to implement some of its practical recommendations.
If "The New B Wonder Awards Ceremony" and the "Black Brains Think Thank" ever come to exist, Tom Burrell should be annointed as patron and messiah ..
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.
P.S. This book impressed me so much that it prompted me to write this first Amazon review!
author Tom Burrell explores the subject of ‘black inferiority complex’ in a very simple and easily digestible style – as opposed to more heavily academic and statistic laden styles. I think Burrell is targeting a wide audience, rather than academics/sociologists etc…
In a nutshell, Burrell asserts that many black people (in terms of african decent) still ‘think and act like slaves’ and this is rooted in a psyche of black inferiority, fuelled by racist propaganda.
In my student days (a long time ago) I studied sociology, psychology and social policy – and have never grown tired of exploring the thoughts and ideas around why different groups in society seem to replicate certain patterns of behaviour, educational attainment, attitudes and values, and socio-economic related patterns and problems….
This book focuses on aspects of afro caribbean (or more specifically African-American) psychology and its impact on the lives and thinking of afro caribbean people today – drawing on history to present arguments and conclusions.
As with any social phenomena, it is difficult ( I would say impossible) to come to absolute finite conclusions on anything, as there are always multiple social variables at play in all circumstances, with variations between individuals and different perspectives depending on our own value and belief systems. This is not to say we discount plausible arguments – but simply keep an open mind.
It is beneficial to gain insight and weigh up the likelihood of some apparent ‘truths’ in order to recognise and/or make efforts to avoid negative patterns in our own lives or in supporting others.
From my personal perspective, Burrell articulates a lot of what I think many of us already know to hold much truth, though the roots and reasons to some extent – must include elements of the ‘individual’ and ‘choice’, even ‘weakness’, in the sense of choosing what seems easy and familiar, in keeping in line with the people you surround yourself with (and their expectations) and thereby living up to negative stereotypes and negative self images – rather than being different and choosing a different lifestyle, different attitude, having the courage to make different choices and take whatever rejection or ridicule that comes with it (resilience). I imagine many will argue that this is easier said than done, but not impossible, it has to come from within.
In some ways, negative and useless stereotypes seem even more apparent these days with social media perpetuating heavily alongside television, film, advertising and the music industry. Adults and young people are under pressure to live up to an array of damaging images in order to be deemed ‘cool’ get ‘likes’ or live up to a projected standard, and in terms of ‘black stereotypes’, black people can end up glorifying their own degradation in the process.
I find that BRAINWASHED By TOM BURRELL patronises the over 30s and educates the under 30s. Brainwashed is the term the author uses to explain the effects of slavery on 'The African' in the 21st century - in this terminology of The African, I have included the Diaspora African and all Black Peoples born in other countries as well as native Africans). This explanation varies from the attitude and belief systems of The African on all aspects of life to coloured imagery used in media circles. The author even offers up a solution as to how to escape being Brainwashed by talking about the slaves who were rebels - the individuals who had/who have a yearning for educational stimuli and learning.
What the book does not offer is an Index to tailor your studies to suit your personal needs, nor does the author offer solutions to tackle any problems as a group or as a people.
A real look at the word Brainwashed is past tense revealing that all of this Brainwashing is/should be/took place in the past. However if you examine the word Brainwashed in its present tense as in Brainwash, this reveals a hidden agenda. The hidden agenda is that Brainwashing is the deliberate and systematic act to cull a human animal - The African/The Black human animal.
This means that Brainwashing still goes on today and the media is just one channel for which the author highlights this in his book, with colour photo's/images of magazine covers.
Had the author offered some management tools then I would be more inclined to give this book a 5 Star rating, or even some facts and figures collected and collated - whether from his own research and studies or from a national database of stats that would've been some help but all that is offered is a courageous publication of the obvious. For example: Women like to 'shop til they drop' is the expression, so where could/should/would the conscientious Female African shop - knowing that The Asian exploit her, The Caucasian enslave her, and The African is 'sometimes', hostile to it's own? Tom Burrell offers no management solutions. That makes him part of the oppressive Brainwashed society, that is Brainwashed to Brainwash the Brainwashed, so that the process of Brainwashing can continue.
"Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority" offers an insightful deconstruction of how we have unconsciously internalised a black inferiority complex stemming from the transatlantic slave trade. Whilst I appreciate that this book was written about African Americans there are many points relevant to myself, a Black British woman. I particularly enjoyed the last chapter, as it talks about proactive ways we can unite to promote a message of a black excellence not based in an "us vs them" mentality which encourages unnecessary comparison nor excellence dependent on validation from other communities. I look forward to implementing the suggestions offered and to a time where all of us can breakdown the damaging stereotypes based on the colour of someone's skin.