“Black people are not dark-skinned white people,” says advertising visionary Tom Burrell. In fact, they are a lot more.
They are survivors of the Middle Passage and centuries of humiliation and deprivation, who have excelled against the odds, constantly making a way out of “no way!” At this point in history, the idea of black inferiority should have had a “Going-Out-of-Business Sale.” After all, Barack Obama has reached the Promised Land.
Yet, as Brainwashed: Erasing the Myth of Black Inferiority testifies, too much of black America is still wandering in the wilderness. In this powerful examination of “the greatest propaganda campaign of all time”—the masterful marketing of black inferiority Burrell poses 10 provocative questions that will make black people look in the mirror and ask why, nearly 150 years after the Emancipation Proclamation, so many blacks still think like slaves.
Brainwashed is not a reprimand; it is a call to deprogram ourselves of self-defeating attitudes and actions. Racism is not the issue; how we respond to racism is the issue. We must undo negative brainwashing and claim a new state of race-based self-esteem and self-actualization. Provocative and powerful, Brainwashed dares to expose the wounds so that we, at last, can heal.
Marketing communications pioneer and Advertising Hall of Fame inductee Tom Burrell is credited with revolutionizing the image of African Americans in television and changing the face of American advertising. His award-winning work promoted positive and realistic images of blacks and acknowledged the purchasing power of the African American community. Burrell is the founder of The Resolution Project, a nonprofit organization that promotes intra-racial dialogue and community-based new media "stop the brainwash" campaigns. He lives in Chicago’s South Loop area.
"With uncompromising courage, Burrell has created an indispensable book for our time."
—Susan L. Taylor