Bell Hooks essay “Keeping Close to Home”, describes her struggles after she was accepted at Stanford University to further her self-realization. In this essay Hooks talks about her journey to educate herself and no losing her sense of where she came from as African American woman from a working class background. Hooks parents wanted her to go to a school close to home, a non-diverse like Stanford was. They wanted her to go to a school no just close to home but were the majority were black too. Her family biggest fear was her daughter changing her mind or losing her values and the connection with them. They knew college change people. However Hooks found the way to keep close to home by visiting every year, sometimes when she couldn’t go home because she didn’t have the money to travel, she had to stay at school, she expresses in a passage how her family wasn’t happy or supportive about her decision about her going to Stanford. As she said “My parents had not being delighted that I had been accepted ad adamantly opposed my going so far from home.
At the same time, I did not see their opposition as an expression of their fear that they would lose me forever, “Like many working-class folks, they feared what college education might do to their children’s even as they unenthusiastically acknowledge its importance” (101). Most kids have a very strong knowledge about were they come from like Hooks was, opposite to some others which doesn’t, this make them to be weak, they could change their values and they might forget about their families and community. . When kids go to college they are in touch with many different people from different backgrounds. It is normal that their parents could be afraid of their kids changing their minds afterwards they will be living away from home and this could happen. This changes depend on how strong their roots are. Having no contact with no contact with their families that could happen, like Hooks explains on her essay when she said “Often I tell students from poor and working-class backgrounds that if you believe [that] what you have learned and are learning in schools and universities separates you from your past, this is precisely what will happen. It is important to stand firm in the conviction that nothing can truly separate us from our pasts when we nurture and cherish that connection” (108).
The best way to maintain the values our family gave us when we go away from home either to college or to live far from our families is keeping in touch with them for this purpose talk to our families once in a while will be good also never forget were we came from. When I read Hooks essay, this send me back in time to the year of 1979 when I graduate from High School. As I was reading her essay I felt that Hooks and I had the same struggles. Before I graduate from High School I had my mind set about going to college. My family was very poor. My mother was always a very hard worker woman, she ironed all the neighborhood clothing. I am very proud of my mother being a single mother she was capable to race my little sister and I all by herself after my dad past away when I was twelve years old Hooks’s talks about how proud she was about her father too when she said “ “ I never knew how poor we were until I needed to go to college. I knew I will need to find a job to further my education. Hooks reveals all the pain and struggles she had after she was accepted at Stanford, how her parents were not supportive.
I had the same exact struggles. My mother was very upset when I told her about my decision on going to school, she argues with me about how her friend’s kids never came back to their homes and how they stop visiting their parents after they went to school. My mother was not being very supportive like Hooks parents were. She teaches us to how to be loving, caring, how to respect each other in the family and everyone else. She wanted for me just to find a job close to my house, she even talked with the owners of this pharmacy on the corner of my house to give me a job as a cashier. She said I should stay home and help her with the house chores, she never thought I could be anything more than a housekeeping. We lived in a very small town called Villa Canales which was eight hours away from the college I decided to go. That was the most painful decision I had ever made. After all I was the first generation going to college.
My family was very tight with very strong values. My sister and I used to spend all our summers vacations at my grandma’s house when we were little, we loved to listen all the stories she had to tell us, while we grow up. This made my family very similar to Hooks’s family. However my mother was afraid of me being far from her and my little sister and forget about them which didn’t happen. Even when the communication was not easy in Guatemala where I grow up, I did all my efforts maintaining communication with my family. Distance was not enough reason for me to stop keeping in touch with them the same and never forget about all the instructions she gave me. The same way Hooks never stopped her contact and communication with her family.
The purpose of her essay is to argue about that students coming from a working class background should not be ashamed where they come from nor either forget about their families. Going to school far from home shouldn’t change people, at least no their values. To keep this values intact people needs to keep the connection as Hooks did by keeping in touch with her family and community. Universities separates families this should not happen because the only way we keep our values is being tight with our families.
Courtney from Study Moose
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