Hooks is the author of many other volumes, including V-eminent Theory: From Margin o Center (1 984), Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom (1994), and Remembered Rapture: The Writer at Work (1999). According to the co-author of The Presence of Others, Andrea A. Landlord, Hooks is comparable to fellow featured authors Adrienne Rich and Mike Rose for their similar views on education being “the practice of exclusion” (93). Hooks displays this view in Keeping Close to Home by sharing With us her struggle in being “materially underprivileged at a university where most folks… Re materially privileged… ” (95), ND by showing us how difficult it was for her to inherit the education that was being offered to her while keeping the values and beliefs she’d grown up with. As a country black girl from a working-class family in Kentucky, Hooks felt out of place and frightened by the ways of the city. She points out the fact that it was “not just frightening; it was utterly painful” (95). The fact that her parents didn’t want her to go to a predominately white school so far from home didn’t make things any easier.
Hooks didn’t understand why her parents were so reluctant and skeptical about her studying at Stanford. She didn’t understand that they were afraid they would “lose [her] forever” (95) to the ways of college life at Stanford. Realizing that going to school at Stanford university was a rarity for people of her same background, she began to think about class differences at her school. She realized that this was a topic that most people ignored or “downplayed” (95), acting as though everyone at the university was from a privileged background.
And for those who were not privileged but were accepted into the university, they were thought to already be in “transition toward privilege” (95). The education received at Stanford university was supposed to provide students “with a bourgeois sensibility” (96) and put them on top of the world, 50 to speak. Hooks avgas different than most of the other students. As she points out on page ninety-six, “class was not just about money; it was about values which showed and determined behavior,” and she had no intentions Of losing her values.
Although she didn’t talk to anyone about her efforts to save money or share vivid anyone her disgust With the kids Who disrespected their parents, she was always observing the other half. Noting her lifestyle differences. She would often see the way most Of the students acted or responded to certain things and set herself apart from them and their behaviors. As time went on, Hooks made a conscience effort to remember her background and where she came from while obtaining her education.
She also made it a point to warn others against this act of habit, She mentions that most young African-Americans are taught by the dominant culture that “assimilation is the only possible way to survive, to succeed” (97). But as she tries to exemplify in her everyday elite, it is important tort them to feel that they can “speak openly and oneself about our lives” (97) and not feel ashamed of where they come from, That they can continue to be educated, but not target those who are not as fortunate as they are to have a good education.
It is also important for them to understand that by having these types of values and living by these standards, they will most likely be criticized by those who think and act differently)h Hooks is often criticized for the way she presents her speeches. Rather than use eloquent speech while standing still at the podium reading from her paper, Hook prefers to speak directly to the audience, making ye contact and adding her personal experience into everything she says. This type Of speaking is Often viewed as a “sign Of intellectual weakness” (97) or people think that she is not prepared.
Some even go as far as to say that Hooks is “reinforcing the stereotype Of black as nor-I-theoretical and gutsy” (97). Hooks is also criticized for the way she writes her books. Unlike most college. Educated authors, Hooks doesn’t use footnotes in her writings. Other authors warned her that this act or lack thereof would “make the work less credible in academic circles” (101). But Hook refused to include these in her writings cause she feels that “footnotes set class boundaries for readers” (101), which is something she didn’t want to do.
The reason Hooks speaks basically to her listeners and writes hooks without footnotes is because she is dedicated to including everyone in her audience. She wants the college graduates as well as the high school dropouts to listen to or read what she has to say, and be able to understand and connect with her in some way. When writing her books, she asked people in working-class black communities (most of whom are not college-educated) what they thought of books containing footnotes. Most of them responded that it gave them the notion that the book was meant for people with college educations.
When she is giving a speech, she doesn’t want half of the audience to tune her out because they don’t understand or can’t identity with anything that she is saying. Hook believes that vie should “share radical strategies, ways of rethinking and revisionism with students, with kin and community, with a larger audience…. ‘ One of Hooks’ main points in Keeping Close to Home is to not forget where you come from. Totally agree With this idea. Being a minority student at a redecoration white school, I can personally identify with Hook and some of her experiences.
Like her, too often feel separated from my classmates because of our class differences or our cultural upbringing. However, unlike Hook, try to learn about and accept other ideas and opinions as well as teach others about my own beliefs. Feel that Hooks takes a different approach to her being different. On page ninety-six, Hooks gives an example about a time when she was graduate school and she “found that classmates believed ‘lower class’ people had no beliefs and values. ” She then goes on to confess that she “was silent in such concussions, disgusted by their ignorance” (96).
It seems that instead of trying to introduce her values to others, she decides to keep them to herself, adding to the ignorance others have on her way of life. Feel that, in this aspect, she is contributing to the problem of such distinct class and social differences by not educating the other half of the spectrum. On the other hand, Hooks does a good job of limiting class boundaries in the way that she has written Keeping Close to Home. The viva she includes personal examples from her life as a college-educated student from a working-class aground aide in the connection she is trying to build bet,even her and the reader.
By letting the reader see what she event through, What she felt, and how she handled it, I can see that Hooks is trying to include them in her story. She wants all readers to be able to identify With her in some way. The educated readers can identify because she talks about college life and trying to stay true to herself. This is a struggle that all college students go through, no matter What background they are from. The non-educated readers can identify with the stories she tells about some of the things she had to do without due to the fact hat she was from a working-class family.
She wasn’t able to go on vacations and she often had to save money to send home to her family. These are things that most underprivileged people have to deal with everyday. Like the way she took into consideration that all types of people would want to read her book, and wrote it accordingly, in hopes that no one would feel that Keeping Close to Home wasn’t tort them to read. She made an effort to include everyone. Hooks is also a strong believer in “speaking openly and honestly about our lives and the nature of our personal struggles,” She does a good job of this in Keeping Close to Home.
Not only does she tell many stories about her struggles as an underprivileged college student at Stanford University, but she is also honest with herself and her readers in doing so. She very easily could have portrayed being underprivileged as just a stage in her life Instead, she realizes that it is not a stage, but a foundation to her life, and she is willing to admit that to the world. ;While I often needed more money, I never needed a new set of beliefs and values. ” (96) The fact that she grew up in a working-class family has everything o do with who she is now. The values she learned growing up will stay with her forever.
In the beginning of this essay, mentioned that Hooks displays her views of education as “the practice Of exclusion” in her work. This is evident in the fact that she dedicated a whole volume to how big a role class differences played in her education and in her life. It is true that Hooks sometimes excluded herself by not participating in class discussions or by not teaching others about her values and beliefs. However, she was often excluded unwillingly because she didn’t have hat other students had or because she didn’t do things the way other educated people did them.