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). 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...are materially privileged..." (95), and 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...