Friday, September 19, 2008

Eldridge Cleaver: Soul On Ice

Why haven't I read this book before? Eldridge Cleaver is hilarious and cutting in his portrayal or race issues in mid-60's America. Some of his essays deal with prison, some deal with sex, and they all deal with being black in the era of the struggle for Civil Rights. In some places, Cleaver is downright poetic: "The price of hating other human beings is loving oneself less," while in others, he is almost pornographic in his metaphors of white men as the Mind and black men as the Body. Cleaver discusses why he left the Black Muslims, and apologizes to black women for 400 years of mistreatment.

This is a must read for anyone interested in race, gender, and class issues- even though I say I never want to discuss this stuff again, Cleaver is too good to pass by.