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She has established herself as a leftist political thinker since her first book, and has written mainly on the impact of sexism and racism on black women, as well as the role of the educational systems and the media in the devaluation of black womanhood. Although, as we can understand in "Teaching to Transgress", se is not a fundamentalist nor is she a negative activist, but rather, she strives to expose negative aspects of reality which are wrong, but she also makes a real effort to elaborate and describe positive solutions. I found an interview on the Internet where the author makes the following claim:
To me, all the work I do is built on a foundation of loving-kindness. Love illuminates matters. And when I write provocative social and cultural criticism that causes readers to stretch their minds, to think beyond set paradigms, I think of that work as love in action. While it may challenge, disturb and at times even frighten or enrage readers, love is always the place where I begin and end.
A central theme of all about love is that from childhood into adulthood we are often taught misguided and false assumptions about the nature of love. Perhaps the most common false assumption about love is that love means we will not be challenged or changed. No doubt this is why people who read writings about racism, sexism, homophobia, religion, etc. that challenges their set assumptions tend to see that work as harsh rather than loving. (Shambhala Sun)
In the present book, the author teaches us to transgress against established prejudiced thinking, against all types of boundaries, either they be racial, social, sexual; only by thinking outside the ready-made conventions and thought patters that undermine our consumist-based patriarchal society can we attain true intellectual and personal freedom.

She tells us near the beginning of the book that "teaching is a performative act... that offers the space for change, invention, spontaneous shifts, that can serve as a catalyst drawing out the unique elements in each classroom." (11) She refers to education as the practice of freedom, and she reads like a mix between Martin Luther King and the John Keating character (the teacher) from "Dead Poets Society", whom she actually refers to in a section of the book.
She thinks of teaching as a mission to educate, a mission that requires strong vocation and belief. She goes against the established "banking system of education", where students are expected to perform something which is little more than an act of memorization, devoid of any substance and commitment. And we all now that is mostly the way it is in the U.S. and in the rest of the world as well; generally speaking, of course, because there are also many self-conscious and dedicated teachers who really believe in what they do, and aim to engage their students in active learning: and although we all have hope that in the future, things could be different, we would be fooling ourselves to confuse the exception for the norm.
She makes a strong statement against teachers who act like they're sovereigns of their own private classroom kingdom, and readily admits that they account for the majority of them. She, on ...Show more


Gloria Jean Watkins was born September 25, 1952 in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. She is an African American intellectual, whose negative educational experience inspired her to develop a strong feminist activism, and to write over thirty books where she promotes communication and literacy as fundamental elements to develop healthy relationships and communities, and community and love as the basis to overcome class and gender barriers.
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Ethnic Studies Essay
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