Pathbreaking, Black Feminist bell hooks dies

Pathbreaking, Black Feminist bell hooks dies

Feminist author and social activist, bell hooks, has died at her home in Kentucky. She was 69 years old. Her real name was Gloria Jean Watkins. She adopted her great-grandmother’s name as her pen name and characteristically wrote it in lower case letters saying it made readers focus more on her writing than on her as a person.

Announcing her death, The New York Times called her “Pathbreaking, Black, Feminist.

A focus in her writing was how gender, race and social class are interconnected. She was quoted saying that we cannot see gains for feminism distinct and separate from other struggles.

She published more than 30 books. One of the most celebrated is “Ain’t I a Woman? Black Women and Feminism” from 1981.  It includes political and feminist theory with a historical perspective on the impact of sexism and racism on black women.

“A devaluation of Black womanhood occurred as a result of the sexual exploitation of Black women during slavery that has not altered in the course of hundreds of years,” she wrote.

Her production also included  literary criticism, children’s fiction, self-help, memoir and poetry.

She attended segregated schools before going to Stanford University in California. She earned a master’s in English at the University of Wisconsin and a doctorate in literature at the University of California at Santa Cruz.

In 2014, she founded the bell hooks Institute at Berea College in her hometown Berea, Kentucky.

“Berea College is grateful for her contributions to the campus community and will celebrate her life and legacy through the bell hooks center that opened on campus in fall 2021. The bell hooks Institute at Berea College will continue to be a valuable and informative beacon to her life’s work, continuing to remind humans that life is all about love. In her words, “To love well is the task in all meaningful relationships, not just romantic bonds.”

 

Read Also:  Arguments about feminism that started a world wide discussion

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