The Black Imagination By Bell Hooks

954 Words4 Pages
bell hooks, renowned black feminist and cultural critic criticizes the lack of racial awareness in her essay, Representing Whiteness in the Black Imagination (1992). ‘bell hooks’ is written in lower case to convey that the substance of her work reigns more important than the writer. From a marginalized perspective, hooks argues that sites of dominance, not otherness is problematic and critiques the lack of attention that white scholars pay to the representation of whiteness in the black imagination. Critical feminist scholars Peggy McIntosh and Ruth Frankenberg identify their own whiteness as a dominant discourse, but share a critical departure from hooks with the notion of whiteness as terror. hooks aim is not to reverse racism, but discuss her position to authentically inform readers about how she experiences racism. Furthermore, systems of oppression are manufactured by human thought and thus the site of the Other is always produced as a site of difference. Gender, race, sex, class, disability, and geography are situated differently in social structure, but dominant groups assume they share the same reality though they cannot experience it. In consequence, the Other cannot hold a singularized identity of their own and the binary structure succeeds in containing racialized bodies in place. What happens to those bodies when they cross boundaries of the binary? hooks recounts being routinely disciplined back into place when crossing the border; however, dominant white
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