bell hooks

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bell hooks
Bell hooks, October 2014.jpg
bell hooks in October 2014
Born Gloria Jean Watkins
(1952-09-25)September 25, 1952
Hopkinsville, Kentucky, U.S.
Died December 15, 2021(2021-12-15) (aged 69)
Berea, Kentucky, U.S.
Education
Occupation
  • Author
  • academic
  • activist
Years active 1978–2021
Known for Oppositional gaze
Notable work
Website bellhooksinstitute.com

Gloria Jean Watkins (September 25, 1952 – December 15, 2021), better known by her pen name bell hooks,[1] was an American author, professor, feminist, and social activist. The name "bell hooks" is borrowed from her maternal great-grandmother, Bell Blair Hooks.[2]

The focus of hooks's writing was the intersectionality of race, capitalism, and gender, and what she described as their ability to produce and perpetuate systems of oppression and class domination. She published more than 30 books and numerous scholarly articles, appeared in documentary films, and participated in public lectures. She addressed race, class, gender, art, history, sexuality, mass media, and feminism.[citation needed] In 2014, she founded the bell hooks Institute at Berea College in Berea, Kentucky.[3]

Life and career

Early life

Gloria Jean Watkins was born on September 25, 1952, in Hopkinsville,[4] a small, segregated town in Kentucky,[5] to a working-class African-American family. Watkins was one of six children born to Rosa Bell Watkins (née Oldham) and Veodis Watkins. Her father worked as a janitor and her mother worked as a maid in the homes of white families.[citation needed] An avid reader, Watkins was educated in racially segregated public schools, later writing that this is where she had experienced education as the practice of freedom. She described the great adversities she faced when making the transition to an integrated school, where teachers and students were predominantly white. She graduated from Hopkinsville High School before obtaining her BA in English from Stanford University in 1973,[6] and her MA in English from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1976.[7] During this time, at 24 Watkins was writing her book Ain't I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism, which was published in 1981.[8]

In 1983, after several years of teaching and writing, she completed her doctorate in English at the University of California, Santa Cruz, in 1987,[6][9] with a dissertation on author Toni Morrison.[10]

Teaching and writing

Her teaching career began in 1976 as an English professor and senior lecturer in Ethnic Studies at the University of Southern California.[11] During her three years there, Golemics, a Los Angeles publisher, released her first published work, a chapbook of poems titled And There We Wept (1978),[12] written under the name "bell hooks". She adopted her maternal great-grandmother's name as a pen name because her great-grandmother "was known for her snappy and bold tongue, which [she] greatly admired". She put the name in lowercase letters "to distinguish [herself from] her great-grandmother." She said that her unconventional lowercasing of her name signifies that what is most important to focus upon is her works, not her personal qualities: the "substance of books, not who I am."[13]

She taught at several post-secondary institutions in the early 1980s and 1990s, including the University of California, Santa Cruz, San Francisco State University, Yale, Oberlin College and City College of New York.[14] In 1981 South End Press published her first major work, Ain't I a Woman? Black Women and Feminism, though it was written years earlier while she was an undergraduate student.[15] In the decades since its publication, Ain't I a Woman? has been recognized for its contribution to feminist thought, with Publishers Weekly naming it "One of the twenty most influential women's books in the last 20 years" in 1992.[16] Writing in The New York Times in 2019, Min Jin Lee said that Ain't I a Woman "remains a radical and relevant work of political theory. hooks lays the groundwork of her feminist theory by giving historical evidence of the specific sexism that black female slaves endured and how that legacy affects black womanhood today".[9]

Ain't I a Woman? examines several recurring themes in her later work: the historical impact of sexism and racism on black women, devaluation of black womanhood, media roles and portrayal, the education system, the idea of a white-supremacist-capitalist-patriarchy, the marginalization of black women, and the disregard for issues of race and class within feminism. She later became significant as a leftist and postmodern political thinker and cultural critic.[17] In Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center (1984), hooks develops a critique of white feminist racism in second-wave feminism, which she argued undermined the possibility of feminist solidarity across racial lines.[18]

bell hooks in 2009

Her definition of feminism – "a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation and oppression"[19] – is frequently cited by feminists:[20][21][22]

She published more than 30 books,[23] ranging in topics from black men, patriarchy, and masculinity to self-help; engaged pedagogy to personal memoirs; and sexuality (in regards to feminism and politics of aesthetic/visual culture). A prevalent theme in her most recent writing is the community and communion, the ability of loving communities to overcome race, class, and gender inequalities. In three conventional books and four children's books, she suggests that communication and literacy (the ability to read, write, and think critically) are crucial to developing healthy communities and relationships that are not marred by race, class, or gender inequalities.[citation needed]

During the course of her life, she held positions as Professor of African-American Studies and English at Yale University, Associate Professor of Women's Studies and American Literature at Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio, and as Distinguished Lecturer of English Literature at the City College of New York.[24]

In 2002, hooks gave a commencement speech at Southwestern University. Eschewing the congratulatory mode of traditional commencement speeches, she spoke against what she saw as government-sanctioned violence and oppression, and admonished students who she believed went along with such practices. This was followed by a controversy described in the Austin Chronicle.[25][26] The newspaper reported that many in the audience booed the speech, though "several graduates passed over the provost to shake her hand or give her a hug".[25]

In 2004, she joined Berea College in Berea, Kentucky, as Distinguished Professor in Residence,[27] where she participated in a weekly feminist discussion group, "Monday Night Feminism"; a luncheon lecture series, "Peanut Butter and Gender"; and a seminar, "Building Beloved Community: The Practice of Impartial Love". Her 2008 book, belonging: a culture of place, includes an interview with author Wendell Berry as well as a discussion of her move back to Kentucky.[28] She has undertaken three scholar-in-residences at The New School. She did one for a week in October 2014, engaging in public dialogues with Gloria Steinem,[29] Laverne Cox,[30] and Cornel West.[31]

hooks was inducted into the Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame in 2018.[32]

Personal life

hooks described her sexual identity as "queer-pas-gay".[33]

Hooks died at her home in Berea, Kentucky, on December 15, 2021, at the age of 69.[32][34][35]


Filmography

Awards and nominations

Select bibliography

Books

Children's books

  • Happy to be Nappy. Chris Raschka (illustrator). 1999. ISBN 978-0-7868-2377-2.CS1 maint: others (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Homemade Love. New York: Hyperion Books for Children. 2002. ISBN 9780786825530.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Be boy buzz. New York: Hyperion Books for Children. 2002. ISBN 9780786816439.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Skin again. Chris Raschka (illustrator). New York: Hyperion Books for Children. 2004. ISBN 9780786808250.CS1 maint: others (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Grump groan growl. Chris Raschka (illustrator). New York: Hyperion Books for Children. 2008. ISBN 9780786808168.CS1 maint: others (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

Book chapters

  • hooks, bell (1993), "Black women and feminism", in Richardson, Laurel; Taylor, Verta A. (eds.), Feminist frontiers III, New York: McGraw-Hill, pp. 444–449, ISBN 9780075570011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • hooks, bell (1996), "Continued devaluation of Black womanhood", in Jackson, Stevi; Scott, Sue (eds.), Feminism and sexuality: a reader, New York: Columbia University Press, pp. 216–223, ISBN 9780231107082.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • hooks, bell (1997), "Sisterhood: political solidarity between women", in McClintock, Anne; Mufti, Aamir; Shohat, Ella (eds.), Dangerous liaisons: gender, nation, and postcolonial perspectives, Minnesota, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, pp. 396–414, ISBN 9780816626496.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • hooks, bell (2004), "Selling hot pussy: representations of Black female sexuality in the cultural marketplace", in Richardson, Laurel; Taylor, Verta A.; Whittier, Nancy (eds.), Feminist frontiers (5th ed.), Boston: McGraw-Hill, pp. 119–127, ISBN 9780072824230.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> Pdf.
  • hooks, bell (2005), "Black women: shaping feminist theory", in Cudd, Ann E.; Andreasen, Robin O. (eds.), Feminist theory: a philosophical anthology, Oxford, UK; Malden, Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishing, pp. 60–68, ISBN 9781405116619.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 This may be a working title. See talk page.

References

  1. Dinitia Smith (September 28, 2006). "Tough arbiter on the web has guidance for writers". The New York Times. p. E3. But the Chicago Manual says it is not all right to capitalize the name of the writer bell hooks because she insists that it be lower case.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. hooks, bell, "Inspired Eccentricity: Sarah and Gus Oldham" in Sharon Sloan Fiffer and Steve Fiffer (eds), Family: American Writers Remember Their Own, New York: Vintage Books, 1996, p. 152.

    hooks, bell, Talking Back, Routledge, 2014 [1989], p. 161.

  3. "About the bell hooks institute". bell hooks institute. Archived from the original on April 25, 2016. Retrieved April 23, 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Risen, Clay (December 15, 2021). "bell hooks, Pathbreaking Black Feminist, Dies at 69". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 15, 2021.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Medea, Andra (1997). "hooks, bell (1952–)". In Hine, Darlene Clark (ed.). Facts on File Encyclopedia of Black Women in America. New York: Facts on File. pp. 100–101. ISBN 0-8160-3425-7. OCLC 35209436.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Kumar, Lisa, ed. (2007). "hooks, bell 1952–". Something about the Author. 170. Gale. pp. 112–116. ISBN 978-1-4144-1071-5. ISSN 0276-816X. OCLC 507358041.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Scanlon, Jennifer (1999). Significant Contemporary American Feminists: A Biographical Sourcebook. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. pp. 125–132. ISBN 978-0313301254.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "bell hooks | Biography, Books, & Facts". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved October 4, 2021.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. 9.0 9.1 Lee, Min Jin (February 28, 2019). "In Praise of bell hooks". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 15, 2021.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Hooks, Bell (1983). Keeping a hold on life: reading Toni Morrison's fiction (Thesis).<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> WorldCat.
  11. Anderson, Gary L.; Anderson, Kathryn G (2007). hooks, bell (1952– ) (vol. 2 ed.). SAGE Reference. pp. 704–706.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Glikin, Ronda (1989). Black American Women in Literature: A Bibliography, 1976 through 1987. McFarland & Company. p. 73. ISBN 0-89950-372-1. OCLC 18986103.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. Heather Williams (March 26, 2013). "bell hooks Speaks Up". The Sandspur – via Issuu.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "bell hooks." Contemporary Authors Online, Gale, 2010. Literature Resource Center. Accessed June 12, 2018.
  15. Teaching to Transgress, p. 52.
  16. Smith, Gerald L.; McDaniel, Karen Cotton; Hardin, John A. (August 28, 2015). The Kentucky African American Encyclopedia. University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 978-0-8131-6067-2.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. 17.0 17.1 "Acclaimed author and activist bell hooks dies at 69". NBC News. Retrieved December 15, 2021.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. Isoke, Zenzele (December 2019). "bell hooks: 35 Years from Margin to Center - Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center. By bell hooks. New York: Routledge, [1984] 2015. 180 pp. 23.96 (paperback)". Politics & Gender. 15 (4). doi:10.1017/S1743923X19000643. ISSN 1743-923X.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. bell hooks, Feminism is for Everybody: Passionate Politics, Pluto Press, 2000.
  20. Adams, Lauren (February 7, 2012). "Book Review: Feminism is for Everybody by bell hooks". Underneath a Book. Retrieved December 14, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. "10 Years of "Feminism is for Everybody"". Ms. Magazine Blog. September 7, 2010. Retrieved December 14, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. "Feminism is for Everybody: Further Discussion". A Year of Feminist Classics. February 8, 2012. Retrieved December 14, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. Knight, Lucy (December 15, 2021). "bell hooks, author and activist, dies aged 69". The Guardian. Retrieved December 15, 2021.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  24. Grove, Rashad (December 15, 2021). "Bell Hooks, Renowned Scholar, Author, and Feminist, Passes Away at 69". Ebony. Retrieved December 15, 2021.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  25. 25.0 25.1 Apple, Lauri (May 24, 2002). "bell hooks Digs In". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved December 11, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  26. "Postmarks - Southwestern Graduation Debacle". The Austin Chronicle. May 24, 2002. Retrieved December 11, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  27. "Faculty and Staff". Berea College. Archived from the original on May 28, 2010. Retrieved December 15, 2021.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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  29. Vagianos, Alanna (October 7, 2014). "Gloria Steinem On The Great Part Of Feminism: 'We Have Each Other's Backs'". Huffington Post. Retrieved October 11, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  30. Scherker, Amanda (October 10, 2014). "Laverne Cox And bell hooks Talk How To Survive The Patriarchy". Huffington Post. Retrieved October 11, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  31. "This discussion between bell hooks and Cornel West on Black Intellectual Life is more relevant today than ever" (Press release). Taylor & Francis, Informa UK Limited. March 3, 2017. Retrieved December 15, 2021.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  32. 32.0 32.1 Knight, Lucy (December 15, 2021). "bell hooks, author and activist, dies aged 69". The Guardian. Retrieved December 15, 2021.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  33. Ring, Trudy (December 15, 2021). "Queer Black Feminist Writer bell hooks Dies at 69". The Advocate. Retrieved December 15, 2021.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  34. "bell hooks: Author and feminist dies aged 69". BBC. December 15, 2021. Retrieved December 15, 2021.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  35. Italie, Hillel (December 15, 2021). "bell hooks, groundbreaking feminist thinker, dies at 69". ABC News. Retrieved December 15, 2021.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  36. McCluskey 2007, pp. 301–302.
  37. McCluskey 2007, p. 57.
  38. McCluskey 2007, p. 355.
  39. Crust, Kevin (October 3, 2018). "Review: Documentary 'Hillbilly' takes on media stereotypes of Appalachia". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 15, 2021.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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  44. "Footlights". The New York Times. August 21, 2002. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 15, 2021.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  45. 45.0 45.1 Rappaport, Scott (April 25, 2007). "May 10 bell hooks event postponed". UC Santa Cruz, Regents of the University of California. Retrieved December 15, 2021.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  46. "Get to Know bell hooks". The bell hooks center. Retrieved December 15, 2021.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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Cited sources

Further reading

  • hooks, bell (1996). Reel to Real: Race, Sex, and Class at the Movies. New York: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-91824-4.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • hooks, bell; Trend, David (1996), "Representation and democracy an interview", in Trend, David (ed.), Radical democracy: identity, citizenship, and the state, New York: Routledge, pp. 228–236, ISBN 9780415912471<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Florence, Namulundah (1998). bell hooks' Engaged Pedagogy. Westport, CT: Bergin & Garvey. ISBN 978-0-89789-564-4. OCLC 38239473.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Leitch et al., eds. "bell hooks." The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2001. pp. 2475–2484. ISBN 0-393-97429-4
  • South End Press Collective, ed. (1998). "Critical Consciousness for Political Resistance". Talking About a Revolution. Cambridge: South End Press. pp. 39–52. ISBN 978-0-89608-587-9. OCLC 38566253.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Stanley, Sandra Kumamoto, ed. (1998). Other Sisterhoods: Literary Theory and U.S. Women of Color. Chicago: University of Illinois Press. ISBN 978-0-252-02361-3. OCLC 36446785.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Wallace, Michele (1998). Black Popular Culture. New York: The New Press. ISBN 978-1-56584-459-9. OCLC 40548914.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Whitson, Kathy J. (2004). Encyclopedia of Feminist Literature. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. ISBN 978-0-313-32731-5. OCLC 54529420.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Template:Radical feminism

{{#related: Patriarchy}} {{#related: Feminism}} {{#related: Toni Morrison}}