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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin. 

Tarana Burke and Dr Brené Brown bring together a dynamic group of Black writers, organisers, artists, academics and cultural figures to discuss the topics the two have dedicated their lives to understanding and teaching: vulnerability and shame resilience.

Contributions by Kiese Laymon, Imani Perry, Laverne Cox, Jason Reynolds, Austin Channing Brown and more.

It started as a text between two friends.

Tarana Burke, founder of the #MeToo movement, texted researcher and writer Brené Brown to see if she was free to jump on a call. Brené assumed that Tarana wanted to talk about wallpaper. They had been trading home decorating inspiration boards in their last text conversation, so Brené started scrolling to find her latest Pinterest pictures when the phone rang.

But it was immediately clear to Brené that the conversation wasn't going to be about wallpaper. Tarana's hello was serious, and she hesitated for a bit before saying, 'Brené, you know your work affected me so deeply, but as a Black woman, I've sometimes had to feel like I have to contort myself to fit into some of your words. The core of it rings so true for me, but the application has been harder.'

Brené replied, 'I'm so glad we're talking about this. It makes sense to me. Especially in terms of vulnerability. How do you take the armour off in a country where you're not physically or emotionally safe?'

Long pause.

'That's why I'm calling,' said Tarana. 'What do you think about working together on a book about the Black experience with vulnerability and shame resilience?'

There was no hesitation.

Burke and Brown are the perfect pair to usher in this stark, potent collection of essays on Black shame and healing. Along with the anthology contributors, they create a space to recognise and process the trauma of white supremacy, a space to be vulnerable and affirm the fullness of Black love and Black life.

©2021 Tarana Burke and Brené Brown (P)2021 Penguin Audio

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Not for the faint hearted

I don’t quite know how to review this book. It’s so deep and powerful I just want to sit in silence and reflect on each story. Sit in the discomfort.
If you are white, like me, it will be uncomfortable listening. Unless you are not actively listening.
Before I read this book I thought I had grasped a fairly good understanding of the impact of racism on black people (from reading other books about the lived experience). This book has made me feel small, like I know nothing. I feel like I have a new lense and it’s horrible. I want to take it off. And that’s the privilege as a white person that I can if I so choose. It’s humbling.
I would like to thank every person who shared their story. So much vulnerability is shared and I thank them for helping me understand it more as there is no way from my lived experience that I could imagine it.
I’m so sorry that our insecurities have resulted in this system that impacts you so deeply. Sending all the love and a commitment to do better.

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Thankful this exists

I'm thankful for the existence of this book and what it recognises and honours. Tarana is stellar (see also In Our Mother's Gardens on Nflx), and this is the only way I've been able to get into Brené's work because without the acknowledgement of the Black experience, I felt that if I'd picked it up, I would pay twice for something that has already cost me tenfold without my sign-off in terms of race, shame, trauma and resilience.
It's great to have Black people, and Black voices speak on what we experience in our way. "... Afflicted by adolescence...dreams, purpose searching...a grounded life... Learn family...shame doesn't course-correct or allow people to make better choices... I am magic, cocoa powder, shards of glass and shrapnel...I am worthy...to unhinge yourself from the hundreds of years of foolishness that shows up in every facet of your life... " Lots of new energic arenas of being and life presence to love and live and sow new seeds in, in the fire. And I'm glad that the chapter titles are properly displayed instead of being labelled chapter 1, chapter 2 etc. All listens need this. I'm blessed with this book, buy it and share it where you can, and get in where you fit in with the beauty of oration as libation, inclusion and restitution, especially if you spend a lot of time in white-only spaces and frustrations. Bless every contributors hands, heart, voice and being 🖤💛

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Awesome collection!

I loved every story but I particularly loved hearing about this from the male perspective.

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PHENOMENAL

The scincerity and stelllar delivery... Emotionally insightful and so generous...

Im truly thankful for this sharing

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Breathtaking

Tarana Burke and Brené Brown have carefully and compassionately brought together the exquisitely written, raw and breathtaking experiences of the brave and talented authors. This book, these experiences, have taught me so much about humanity, compassion, vulnerability, shame and strength. It has been a privilege to have been given access to each of the authors deeply personal experiences and I am so grateful for their courage and their aptitude to convey their experiences in such a powerful and life changing manner. This book is an exquisite composition of humanity and compassionate authenticity.

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lots of great moments

Loved it! Lots of relatable stories and food for thought. A great read/ listen. I even bought a physical copy to highlight favourite parts

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Truly Wonderful

This book is illuminating and instructive, compelling and beautifully written. And hearing it read, and mostly by the authors, adds to its impact. Each essay brings a different voice, a different perspective to the experience of living while black in the twenty first century. It helped me to understand on a deeper level.

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Powerful, moving and incredibly important

This was an extraordinary, haunting and overwhelming collection of stories. Beautifully and movingly written. Incredibly important messages and insights.