For bell hooks, the best cultural criticism sees no need to separate politics from the pleasure of reading. Yearning collects together some of hooks's classic and early pieces of cultural criticism from the '80s. Addressing topics like pedagogy, postmodernism, and politics, hooks examines a variety of cultural artifacts, from Spike Lee's film Do the Right Thing and Wim Wenders's film Wings of Desire to the writings of Zora Neale Hurston and Toni Morrison. The result is a poignant collection of essays which, like all of hooks's work, is above all else concerned with transforming oppressive structures of domination.

Preface to the New Edition  1. Liberation Scenes: Speak this Yearning  2. The Politics of Radical Black Subjectivity  3. Postmodern Blackness  4. The Chitlin Circuit: On Black Community  5. Homeplace: A Site of Resistance  6. Critical Interrogation: Talking Race, Resisting Racism  7. Reflections on Race and Sex  8. Representations: Feminism and Black Masculinity  9. Sitting at the Feet of the Messenger: Remembering Malcolm X  10. Third World Diva Girls: Politics of Feminist Solidarity  11. An Aesthetic of Blackness: Strange and Oppositional  12. Aesthetic Inheritances: History Worked by Hand  13. Culture to Culture: Ethnography and Cultural Studies as Critical Intervention  14. Saving Black Folk Culture: Zora Neale Hurston as Anthropologist and Writer  15. Choosing the Margin as a Space of Radical Openness  16. Stylish Nihilism: Race, Sex, and Class at the Movies  17. Representing Whiteness: Seeing Wings of Desire  18. Counter-Hegemonic Art: Do the Right Thing  19. A Call for Militant Resistance  20. Seductive Sexualities: Representing Blackness in Poetry and on Screen  21. Black Women and Men: Partnership in the 1990s  22. An Interview with bell hooks by Gloria Watkins: No, Not Talking Back, January 1989  23. A Final Yearning: January 1990