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Where We Stand: Class Matters

In her work, “Where We Stand: Class Matters,” author and feminist bell hooks works to relay her own personal experience with race, classism, and sexism as she worked her way to the top from the bottom. She was the first person in her family to attend college, and as such, she experienced unique struggles that she had to work through on her own. This work is told much like a narrative and a story of her life and what she had to go through to succeed.

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In her book, “Where We Stand: Class Matters,” bell hooks addresses a range of topics that many people are afraid to broach. In the work, hooks addresses her own journey through life in a society that continually holds people back based on sex, race, and their class as well. She was born in a small community in Kentucky and was subjected to classism, racism, and sexism through her life and her journey to becoming the woman she is today.

As the first person in her family to attend college, hooks was a forerunner in her family and sought to set a new standard that pushed others in her family as well as other girls of her color and background to do more and to do better. She speaks of her time at Stanford, her journey through the ranks and toward success, and her drive to do more than those before her.

The book is based nearly entirely on her journey from the bottom to her current standing. It addresses how much work she had to put in, how hard she had to push, and how she kept herself grounded and kept her past in mind to make sure that even if she was a success, she still remembered where she came from.

The book is organized as a series of short stories almost that outline what hooks went through and what struggles she faced as a young, poor, black woman in a white man’s world. She discusses the boundaries that she had to cross, the ceilings she had to break, and the effort she had to expel in order to get to her current position where she could actually affect change.


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