Even though popular culture has made the Black male body and presence stand for the apex of “cool,” it is a death-dealing coolness, not one that is life enhancing, for Black males or the folks they associate with. Young males embrace a notion of cool that is about getting pussy and getting ready to kill (or at least making somebody think they can kill), because as an identity this one is easier to come by than to quest to know the self and to create a life of meaning. Right now in our nation not enough adult Black males chart the path to healthy self-esteem for younger Black males. That path requires self-acceptance, assuming accountability, letting go of the politics of blame, telling the truth, and being positive.
bell hooks, Forever, an essay in Black Cool
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