A summary/analysis of Keeping Close to Home: Class and Education by Bell Hooks, an excerpt from The Presence of Others by Andrea Lunsford and John Ruszkiewicz.

1738 Words Nov 22nd, 2002 7 Pages
Evaluation/Summary Oct. 4, 2002

Keeping Close to Home: Class and Education

I decided to evaluate an excerpt from the book The Presence of Others. This selection, entitled Keeping Close to Home: Class and Education, was written by Bell Hooks, and is taken from her book Talking Back, published in 1989. Hooks is the author of many other volumes, including Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center (1984), 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. Lunsford, Hooks is comparable to fellow featured authors Adrienne Rich and Mike Rose for their similar views on education being "the practice of exclusion" (93).
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Some even go as far as to say that Hooks is "reinforcing the stereotype of black as non-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 because 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 books 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 identify with anything that she is saying. Hook believes that we should "share radical strategies, ways of rethinking and revisioning with students, with kin and

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