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Thu, 09.25.1952

bell hooks, Author, and Feminist born

bell hooks

*bell hooks was born on this date in 1952. She was a Black author, Black feminist, and social critic.

Born Gloria Watkins in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, she uses the name bell hooks (spelled without capitals) to honor her mother and grandmother. 1973 she graduated from Stanford University, followed by a degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1976 and her Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Cruz, in 1983.

hooks felt that many current social issues (especially race, gender, sex, class, and sexual orientation) are interconnected and that positive social change requires confronting them "as a whole." The opinion of some of her views has been called radical or possibly anti-white. She spells "Black" with capital but spells "white" in lowercase.

She is also Buddhist, and many of her writings and interviews deal with Buddhism. She is best known for her critique of, and strategy against, what she terms "white supremacist capitalist patriarchy."  hooks taught at Yale and Oberlin College. She is currently a Distinguished Professor of English at City College in New York and is a requested speaker.

Her many writings include Ain't I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism, 1981. Feminist Theory from Margin to Center, 1984. Talking back: thinking feminist, thinking black, 1989. Yearning: race, gender, and cultural politics, 1990. with Cornel West. Breaking bread: insurgent Black intellectual life, 1991. Black Looks Race and Representation, 1992. Sisters of the Yam: black women and Self-recovery, 1993. Teaching to transgress: education as the practice of freedom, 1994. Outlaw culture: resisting representations, 1994. Art on my mind: visual politics, 1995. Killing rage: ending racism, 1995. Bone Black: Memories of Girlhood, 1996. Reel to Real: race, sex, and Class at the Movies, 1996. Wounds of Passion: a writing life, 1997. with Christopher Raschka. Happy to be Nappy, 1999. Remembered Rapture: the writer at Work, 1999. Feminism Is for Everybody: Passionate Politics, 2000. Where We Stand: Class Matters, 2000. Salvation: Black People and Love, and All About Love: New Visions, 2001. Be Boy Buzz, 2002 and Communion: The Female Search for Love, 2002. Rock My Soul: Black People and Self-Esteem, 2002. We Real Cool: Black Men and Masculinity, 2003.

In 2014, she founded the bell hooks Institute at Berea College in Berea, Kentucky.  bell hooks died on December 15, 2021, at her home with family and friends by her side.

To be a Writer


Bell Hooks Institute

Black Women in America An Historical Encyclopedia
Volumes 1 and 2, edited by Darlene Clark Hine
Copyright 1993, Carlson Publishing Inc., Brooklyn, New York
ISBN 0-926019-61-9

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