The Case for Rage: Why Anger Is Essential to Anti-Racist Struggle (Hardback)
  • The Case for Rage: Why Anger Is Essential to Anti-Racist Struggle (Hardback)
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The Case for Rage: Why Anger Is Essential to Anti-Racist Struggle (Hardback)

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£14.99
Hardback 208 Pages / Published: 19/10/2021
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When it comes to injustice, especially racial injustice, rage isn't just an acceptable response-it's crucial in order to fuel the fight for change. Anger has a bad reputation. Many people think that it is counterproductive, distracting, and destructive. It is a negative emotion, many believe, because it can lead so quickly to violence or an overwhelming fury. And coming from people of color, it takes on connotations that are even more sinister, stirring up stereotypes, making white people fear what an angry other might be capable of doing, when angry, and leading them to turn to hatred or violence in turn, to squelch an anger that might upset the racial status quo. According to philosopher Myisha Cherry, anger does not deserve its bad reputation. It is powerful, but its power can be a force for good. And not only is it something we don't have to discourage, it's something we ought to cultivate actively. People fear anger because they paint it in broad strokes, but we can't dismiss all anger, especially not now. There is a form of anger that in fact is crucial in the anti-racist struggle today. This anti-racist anger, what Cherry calls "Lordean rage," can use its mighty force to challenge racism: it aims for change, motivates productive action, builds resistance, and is informed by an inclusive and liberating perspective. People can, and should, harness Lordean rage and tap into its unique anti-racist potential. We should not suppress it or seek to replace it with friendly emotions. If we want to effect change, and take down racist structures and systems, we must manage it in the sense of cultivating it, and keeping it focused and strong. Cherry makes her argument for anti-racist anger by putting Aristotle in conversation with Audre Lorde, and James Baldwin in conversation with Joseph Butler. The Case for Rage not only uses the tools of philosophy to articulate its arguments, but it sharpens them with the help of social psychology and history. The book is philosophically rich and yet highly accessible beyond philosophical spheres, issuing an urgent call to all politically and socially engaged readers looking for new, deeply effective tools for changing the world. Its message will resonate with the enraged and those witnessing such anger, wondering whether it can help or harm. Above all, this book is a resource for the activist coming to grips with a seemingly everyday emotion that she may feel rising up within her and not know what to do with. It shows how to make sure anger doesn't go to waste, but instead leads to lasting, long-awaited change.

Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
ISBN: 9780197557341
Number of pages: 208
Weight: 370 g
Dimensions: 216 x 149 x 24 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Myisha Cherry argues very plausibly that anger is an appropriate, useful, and powerful reaction to racism, and often more effective than cooler responses might be ... When bad people get angry we are in trouble. Of course. But when good people are angry about things that matter there is hope for change. * Nigel Warburton, The New European *
Moving beyond reductive, 'broad brush stroke' judgements about political anger, The Case for Rage considers its varied forms and nuances. * Mike Waite, Process North *
(Starred) ...Cherry... makes a bold and persuasive call for using rage to combat racial injustice... Inspired by the poet and activist Audre Lorde, Cherry advocates in particular for 'Lordean rage,' which 'aims for change' and is 'informed by an inclusive and liberating perspective.' She finds examplesin the words and actions of Frederick Douglass, Martin Luther King Jr....James Baldwin, among others, and contrasts the 'respect' given to displays of entitled anger by Supreme Court justice Brett Kavanaugh and other white men and women with the denial of African Americans' right to anger. Cherry lucidly distinguishes between different forms of rage...With its incisive readings of classical philosophers, contemporary politics, and even Saturday Night Live sketches, this accessible, passionate, and meticulously argued case is a must-read. * Publishers Weekly *
A philosophical manifesto defending anger as an effective instrument of protest against racism and oppression...Cherry unpacks Martin Luther King Jr.'s celebrated 'Letter From Birmingham Jail' as a foundational document in what she calls 'Lordean rage,' after the iconic poet and activist Audre Lorde. This Lordean rage ranks favorably in a typology of anger that she constructs...Such rage, as well as the rage of narcissism, is the fevered, useless tool of the enemy, whereas 'Lordean rage is a kind that is well suited to maintain itself just as it is, without needing to get out of the way so that "better" emotions can get to work.'...Cherry effectively shows that anger can be a positive force in organizing resistance and keeping the pressure on perpetrators of racism, sexism, and other societal ills. A well-reasoned case for not holding one's tongue in the presence of injustice. * Kirkus *
In a time where the ubiquity of outrage makes it difficult to find our bearings, Myisha Cherry pierces through the confusion with sharp analysis, accessible writing, and her characteristic sense of humor to offer an exemplary work of public philosophy on the place of anger in our lives. Passionate and incisive, witty and wise, Cherry builds a powerful case for the value of what she calls Lordean rage, following the great Audre Lorde, to sustain struggles against racial justice, resist habits of undue deference, and defend our self-respect. A book to argue with, and be transformed by, The Case for Rage introduces to the public one of the most original and distinctive voices in contemporary American philosophy at a time when her thinking, and perhaps even anger, is sorely needed. * Brandon Terry, African and African American Studies and Social Studies, Harvard University *
Brilliant. Timely. Necessary. * Kate Manne, Philosophy, Cornell University, author of Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny (OUP, 2017) and Entitled: How Male Privilege Hurts Women (Crown, 2020) *
Myisha Cherry's The Case for Rage is public philosophy at its best. In a book that is simultaneously concise, accessible, and profound, Cherry demonstrates how we-all of us-can learn to use our anger to make the world more free, more just, and more loving. This book is essential reading for our moment. * Nicholas Buccola, Author of The Fire Is Upon Us: James Baldwin, William F. Buckley Jr., and the Debate over Race in America *
In the struggle against racism, anger can be a powerful resource but also has well-known dangers. In a judicious and wide-ranging discussion, Cherry insightfully examines this controversial terrain, helping readers better comprehend the complexity and practical value of antiracist anger. This timely, accessible, and philosophically rich book advances the important debate on the role of rage in politics. * Tommie Shelby, Caldwell Titcomb Professor of African and African American Studies and of Philosophy, Harvard University, and author of Dark Ghettos: Injustice, Dissent, and Reform (Belknap, 2016) *
The Case for Rage is an incredibly hopeful and inspiring book, and it comes at just the right time. Myisha Cherry explains how Lordean rage - in the lineage of righteous anger from Ida B. Wells and Sojourner Truth - is both necessary and suited to the anti-racist struggles of our times. Lordean rage is furious, but focused and not frenzied. It is compassionate and empathic, but uncompromising when it comes to the demands of justice. Cherry offers firm, reasoned resistance to skeptics about the role of anger in the service of anti-racism. An important book. * Owen Flanagan, Duke University, author How to Do Things with Emotions: The Morality of Anger and Shame Across Cultures *

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