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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. There is a form of anger that in fact is crucial in the anti-racist struggle today. This anti-racist anger 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. 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.
Myisha Cherry is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Riverside. Her books include UnMuted: Conversations on Prejudice, Oppression, and Social Justice (Oxford University Press, 2018) and, co-edited with Owen Flanagan, The Moral Psychology of Anger (Rowman & Littlefield, 2019). Her work on emotions and race has appeared in The Atlantic, Boston Review, Los Angeles Times, Salon, Huffington Post, WomanKind, and New Philosopher. She has also offered social commentary on race for BBC Radio, BET, and other outlets. Cherry is also the host of the UnMute Podcast, where she interviews philosophers about the social and political issues of our day.
Kate Manne is an associate professor of philosophy at Cornell University, where she has taught since 2013. Before that, she did her graduate work at MIT and was a junior fellow in the Harvard Society of Fellows. The author of Down Girl, she has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, The Times Literary Supplement, and Politico, among other publications. She was recently named one of the world's top ten thinkers by Prospect (UK).