Written By: Denise Moyo, MA
Do you ever question why you cannot control when you fall in or out of love? Why is all fair in love and war? Why do we lie to protect those we love? And why is love such a challenge, be it with family, friends, significant others, or our children. Do you understand why you are unable to explain how memories of shame sometimes come from those we call LOVED ones? As a young woman, I was so excited to read about love from the perspective of a Black woman, since reading several romance novels authored by White women. I’d been escaping through romance novels since I was a child and was excited to gain a more ‘mature’ insight on loving. And so there I was a few pages into reading ‘All About Love: New Visions, and quickly realized…that this…wasn’t a romance novel at all. Lol! I felt attacked and shocked to be questioning the love of my mom and dad’s parenting philosophy?!
Bell Hooks’ novel, ‘All About Love: New Visions’ describes her (relatable) experiences as a Black woman growing up in American culture and breaks down the philosophy and psychology of love in modern society. It questions the very foundations of how we have defined love as something we cannot control or something we fall into. She strips away the fantastical elements of love and reveals behind it, a very misunderstood and shallow concept that can only be maintained through deception, capitalistic thinking, and patriarchy. Here are my top four take-a-ways…
- Love should not and can not strip you of your autonomy and individual agency
- Love is not an excuse for unhealthy, harmful and/or irrational behavior (so no more “drunk in love”, excuses you knew what you were doing)
- Love is an intentional decision to spiritually grow with someone else
- Love is an action and a choice
This book empowers readers to question their fundamental and philosophical understandings of love and how it unconsciously colors our behaviors and experiences. For me, most importantly I value that it teaches the reader that love is not a game, but a necessary source of growth and communion. One that does not have to be built in chaos, lies or abuse.
What do you think about love for this perspective? Have you read this book? Please feel free to comment below. We are also posting on LinkedIn and Twitter so please feel free to follow and connect with us there.