Teaching (bell hooks)

Bell hooks, who was among the first generation of black students who entered a predominantly white college, wrote about her own experiences and challenges she faced during her college education. Challenges of being taught by professors who believed they were racially superior! Challenges of facing racism and sexism in classes. Challenges of fearing most of the teachers and staying away from them or their classes!

She motivates all black students who went through the same experiences to share their stories. In her books, she addressed issues of race, sex, and class, and all different challenging issues teachers are facing in the classrooms:

“One professor, for example, asked how black female professors can maintain positive authority in a classroom without being seen through the lens of negative racist, sexist stereotypes. One teacher asked how to handle tears in the classroom, while another wanted to know how to use humor as a tool for learning.”

These kinds of autobiographical writings of black students who entered predominantly white schools, colleges and universities (especially the first generation of them) is really helpful in giving us an insight about the challenges they were facing during their education.


About saloumeh

Graduate Research Assistant at Virginia Tech

Category(s): Uncategorized

4 Responses to Teaching (bell hooks)

    Tyler Quick says:

    Thanks for the post. I thought reading her works this week was very interesting. It’s inspiring to read accounts of people who have overcome challenges to find incredible success. I think that there are great lessons to learn, even though I may not go through the exact challenges she went through. If we persevere and have confidence in ourselves, we can accomplish great things. Thanks!

    Sarah Plummer says:

    One of the things I love about all of belle hooks’ works is that she write directly from personal experience. I was very moved by her experience in the educational system and as a Black woman professor. I had not read any of her pedagogical writings, but now I’m absolutely going to check them out. Thanks!

  1. I really enjoyed reading your blog post and your thoughts on bell hooks’ writing. I totally agree that it is fascinating to hear from others who have different perspectives or experiences than our own, and she does a really fantastic job of sharing her experiences.

  2. As you mentioned diversity brings both opportunities and challenges. It is important for instructors to teach all students to contribute to the ongoing commitment to social justice. Instructors should let different voices be heard and contrasting opinions be valued in the classroom. Students should become familiar with various social justice concepts, activities, institutions, and movements. This I think help reduce some of the challenges you mentioned.

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