MT: In your book, you mention about how none of our leaders, going back to the ’60s and maybe further, included love as a solution. Why do you think they missed that? Is it they thought it wasn’t important, or we didn’t have time for it, or it wasn’t safe?
hooks: Black folks are having to confront how deeply Western, how deeply American we are. And the heart of that is every immigrant group in this nation has believed that the key to the good life is material advancement. Part of what America promises is that if you just get money and goods, people won’t look behind that to see what’s really going on. … We want to be able to say that as black people that a lot of this self-worth stuff is too connected to racism. But a lot of it is also connected to what is going on in our families. I found a lot of resistance in black people not wanting to … you know, a lot of people beating me down trying to say, “We’re not lacking in love.” And I’m saying, hey, there’s a brutality in black life, cross-class, that should be telling us that we have changed. Black folks are killing their kids, and people don’t want to face that.