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The CLR James Journal

Volume 17, Issue 1, Fall 2011

On the Emancipatory Thought of bell hooks

Tennille Allen
Pages 75-101

I Didn't Let Everybody Come in My House
Exploring bell hooks' Notion of the Homeplace

In this paper, I use hooks' idea of the homeplace to analyze what may look like a retreat into the home as an act of resistance to the multiple gazes that moderate- and low-income Black women face in their everyday lives as residents of a low-income Black neighborhood in Chicago. This research employs ethnographic methods to explore the lived experiences of African American women living in Lake Parc Place, a mixed-income public housing development. Five years of participant observation data, a series of longitudinal in-depth interviews with seven women, and 29 in-depth semi-structured interviews are used to analyze the meanings that these women attached to their homes and how these interacted with and shaped their social relationships with their neighbors as they negotiated several sources of surveillance and scrutiny once they left their apartments.