Tuesday, April 7, 2009

hook's confrontation of race

I really enjoyed bell hooks' discussion of race in Wounds of Passion. I think that this is a voice that too often goes unheard; we are so accustomed to hearing white voices, and I think that this confrontation of whiteness and white privilege was refreshing. While it's true that I am not easily offended when people of color talk about whiteness and white privilege, I found hooks' discussion of white women especially insightful and found a lot of truth in the things she was saying.  I loved that she really took ownership of being black. The instance when she and Mack went out to dinner with Ann and she could tell that Ann was being very insulting to her really stuck with me. I was happy about how she took a stand for herself and did not let Ann put her in a corner. Also, in class, the comment was made about hooks being racist. When this is brought up, as it often is, it kind of bothers me because in order to be racist, one must have power. Since hooks is black, she does not have this element of power, so she is unable to be racist, while it can be said that she may harbor prejudice or negative feelings toward white people. 


  1. I agree that calling hooks racist seems unfair. I think that she is honest about her feelings towards white people and white women and those feelings may be too general in some cases. I also think that hooks reasoning for judging others is by what she happens to see in their heart when she meets them, and this would also be contradictory to her being an all out racist.

  2. I also agree that calling hooks racist seems a bit much. She does generalize a lot about her experiences with certain types of white women and assumes that all white women are like this. However she is honest about her impressions white women have left her with and really owns her feelings. I also like what Sarah said about hooks not being prejudice because of her lack of power as a black woman.

  3. I agree with what everyone has said. To be racist you need have power, which hooks, as a Black women, doesn;t have. However, I do think she generalizes about White women. As Lily brought up in class, I wonder if hooks' associates whiteness with a certain type of personality?