Friday, August 24, 2007

real education is always religious

"Almost all our teachers at Booker T. Washington were black women. They were committed to nurturing intellect so that we could become scholars, thinkers, cultural workers—-black folks who used our minds…

To fulfill that mission, my teachers made sure they 'knew' us. They knew our parents, our economic status, where we worshipped, what our homes were like, and how we were treated in the family…

Attending school then was sheer joy. I loved being a student. I loved learning. School was the place of ecstasy—-pleasure and danger. To be changed by ideas was pure pleasure. But to learn ideas that ran counter to values and beliefs learned at home was to place oneself at risk, to enter the danger zone. Home was the place I was forced to conform to someone else’s image of who and what I should be. School was the place where I could…reinvent myself.

School changed utterly with racial integration. Gone was the messianic zeal to transform our minds and beings...Knowledge was suddenly about information only. It had no relation to how one lived, behaved..."

--bell hooks, from her "Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom"


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