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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.

8 people found this helpful

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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.

4 people found this helpful

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Thought-provoking

Although told from an American perspective. Content shared, highlighted the Black experience from various back drops of lived experience. Overall, a refreshingly honest and humble expression of the black experience amongst the whitewash of societal expectations and oppressive force of white his-story

2 people found this helpful

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These stories need to be heard!

This was yet another amazing book from two amazing ladies and all the other authors- thank you

1 person found this helpful

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So Important

I am so glad this book was recommended to me. As a white woman it has been eye opening. I love all the different essays and listening to the authors read them.
powerful, illuminating!

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Great book - a wealth of stories

As a black woman I really enjoyed this delve into the myriad of experiences with vulnerability and shame told from the perspective of different black folks. Each essay made for great listening and it's a book you can listen to in nice short segments. The readers were great too, nice to hear a range of voices. I learnt a lot and have had my perspective shifted. A pause after each essay is recommended to reflect on what you've just heard. Brilliant book!

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thank you

thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing your stories. thank you.

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Fantastic MUST READ

I cannot recommend this book enough. It is an invitation to witness people’s lives who have overcome and are still exposed daily to white supremacy, injustice, inequality, inhumanity, and life threatening situations. It is high time for those of us with white privilege to become co-conspirators.

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Great combination

Excellent book, you will reflect, feel validated, be inspired.

it is definitely worth a listen.

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Highly Recommended

Affecting, raw and thought-provoking stories told with bravery. These stories stayed with me long after listening to them. I highly recommend this book.