In a culture driven by sexual and racial imagery, very few honest conversations about race, gender, and sexuality actually take place. In their absence, commonly held perceptions of black women as teenage mothers, welfare recipients, mammies, or exotic sexual playthings remain unchanged. For fear that telling their stories will fulfill society’s implicit expectations about their sexuality, most black women have retreated into silence. Tricia Rose seeks to break this silence and jump-start a dialogue by presenting, for the first time, the sexual testimonies of black women who span a broad range of ages, levels of education, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Both brilliantly conceived and sensitively executed, “Longing to Tell” is required reading for anyone interested in issues of race and gender.