bell hook’s “Teaching to Transgress” Chapter 2

In Chapter 2 of her book, bell hooks considers several different factors of racial inequality and how it manifests itself within a school setting. Hooks discusses her experience with a high school reunion and the illusion of inclusivity is insightful, as well as her analysis of her own perceived radicalism that only manifested itself as retaining the status quo. This second portion especially speaks to me as an educator. Hooks discusses the phenomenon of white individuals treating their relationships with black individuals (and by extension all people of color) as a means of gaining points in the “see-I’m-not-racist” game. This chapter especially made me consider more deeply my own complicity in perpetuating physical or intellectual segregation in the classroom and reminds me on some level of Freire’s own idea of cultural invasion. Ensuring that the classroom is not only an equitable space but one which actively works against the system of segregation that is inherent in the education system.

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