Education: Kepping Close to Home

Topics: Sociology, Culture, Black people Pages: 2 (804 words) Published: May 2, 2006
In the essay "Keeping Close to Home: Class and Education" by Bell Hooks, she argues against the statement that "assimilation is the way to gain acceptance… for those in power. Seeing from her college experiences and from other examples, one can argue that one can survive by staying true to one's cultural identity. My personal beliefs lead me to support Ms. Hooks in this argument that assimilation alone is the only way to survive.

In the beginning on page 60, her parents argued that she didn't need to go to a "high class" college like Stanford but to a "college nearby", an all black college. She explains that her working-class parents feared what a college education would do to her mind, so they subjected her to harsh and bitter critique while reluctantly and skeptically supported her decision. One can see that her parents may have feared that by going to this college could force her to change her way of thinking, the way she looks, the way she talks, her whole identify; while going to an all black college will allow her to interact with people she has grown up with and allow her to be in an environment that won't give the need to change. All parents have to deal with this fact, whenever their child will fit in or feel alienated in college. I know my mother dealt with this fact for a while, she knew that I would eventually be okay as being thrusted into a new environment would teach me how to survive on my own.

Ms. Hooks on the next pages, 63-65, explains her sudden exposure to a whole new culture. At times she didn't share the same "sensibilities and values" of her peers. She later in great detail that a lot of times she was profoundly shocked and disturbed when her peers would talk about their parents without respect, or would make her feel very alienated because she couldn't figure out how talking bad about one's parents was considered "healthy and normal" to her peers. She goes on to explain that at times she felt like the one "mormon student", one who...
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